Ecclestone refreshes budget cap idea
12 March 2012 – Bernie Ecclestone, head of Formula One Management (FOM), has suggested that a budget cap should be seriously considered in order to provide F1 with a healthy future. Such proposals originally fell through in 2009.
Three years ago, a budget cap idea was one of the prime motivators for teams such as Manor Motorsport (now Marussia F1) and Campos Meta (now HRT) to join the grid; however, as large manufacturer outfits such as Ferrari and BMW strongly opposed the idea, any plans for a spending limit were scrapped prior to the new campaign.
In the eyes of Ecclestone, Formula 1’s teams must wake up and realise that spending astronomical amounts is both unnecessary and unhealthy for the sport.
“Let’s put it this way: there are still too many people in Formula 1 running around with rose-tinted glasses,” Ecclestone told the official F1 website. “They obviously like to see the world as they want it to be - wonderful, the sun is shining, isn’t life delightful - and not how it is. The downside of these glasses is that they blind you to reality. Change the colour of your glasses and tighten your belts. Stop spending more than you need to.
“The teams have to learn to be competitive without tons of money. They have to refocus again on the basics - on racing, spending on the sport - and not on baronial motorhomes and all kinds of entertainment; we have had this kind of problem for quite a while now, as of course they spend what they have. You could install a mandatory budget for all teams - on the basis of the smaller teams - but they (the big teams) don’t like it and fiercely fight against it.”
When asked whether he would back an official proposal, Ecclestone replied:
“I would welcome it. Yes, I think it could happen.”
He added that ‘discussions’ relating to the new Concorde Agreement continue to take place. The budget cap comments follow another idea from Ecclestone last week, when the 81-year-old suggested that F1’s newest teams should be able to enjoy use of old, front-running customer cars (designed and built by bigger teams) for their first three seasons in the sport. He is known to suggest debatable ideas shortly before the start of a new season; in 2011, the Englishman put forward the proposition of automated sprinkler systems affecting Grands Prix.