Christian Horner, Bernie Ecclestone, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2011

Ecclestone “would welcome” a budget cap

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Christian Horner, Bernie Ecclestone, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2011
Christian Horner, Bernie Ecclestone, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2011

In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says a budget cap is a good idea for F1 but the top teams oppose it.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Pre-season interview with Bernie Ecclestone (F1)

“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. […] I would welcome it. Yes, I think it could happen.”

Horner says Webber back on form (Autosport)

“I think Mark has had a good winter. I think he has a good pre-season and I think he goes to Melbourne with a spring in his step – which wasn’t the case last year. He is in a good frame of mind and hopefully he can have a strong season.”

F1 on TV (Ecurie Morrison)

“In no other sport are you treated like an idiot for daring to watch it, rugby union commentators don?t feel the need to explain a scrum every time a ball?s knocked on; tennis pundits don?t describe what a double fault is; but F1 TV producers make sure that we are given a 10 minute segment about drivers having to use both available tyre compounds. F1 fans are treated as if they?re new to the sport, and it happens every season.”

Comment of the day

Alex on Caterham’s prospects for the year ahead:

I wish them the best of luck this season, but I fear the midfield will remain ??a tightly packed group of teams just in front.?? Even if one or two teams have a poor weekend, Caterham will have to beat a lot of ??established? cars to take that elusive first point.

You brought up KERS and obviously that?s a useful addition, but I can?t help but remember how much trouble it caused the established teams in its first season ?ǣ compromising the aerodynamic package and arguably worsening the ??clean air? lap times even as it gave them an advantage when wheel-to-wheel.

KERS technology has progressed since then and their unit is an off-the-shelf system which should be basically reliable. However those packaging issues remain and it will only add to the complications Caterham is facing as they try to catch up to what are ?ǣ by now ?ǣ quite old and ??stable? rivals with a lot of testing laps under their belts.

I?ll judge their season a success if they keep improving their car through the year, and begin to hit the 12-14 spots with regularity. Any more than that and I?ll jump for joy, though, because I love to see a plucky underdog who?s prepared to put in hard yards of solid work and take the long route to success.

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On this day in F1

The 1967 Race of Champions – a non-championship race run over two heats and a final – was won by Dan Gurney in his Eagle-Weslake.

Lorenzo Bandini was second for Ferrari in the race at Brands Hatch. Tragically, Bandini was killed in the next round of the world championship at Monaco.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

53 comments on “Ecclestone “would welcome” a budget cap”

  1. Hi Keith, the image of Ecclestone (I think) I seriously messed up on my iPhone. Stretched reallllly high. Don’t know about other browsers.

    1. Same with Safari on a Mac. Nice try, but you’ll never make him look tall!

      1. @Bullfrog This has COTD written all over it XD

    2. If you could send details as it describes in the article that would be very helpful, thanks.

    3. me too, stretched way out of aspect ratio vertically

      1. Same problem here iPhone 4. It’s the same on all articles, I noticed yesterday.

        1. Its not as bad as it was earlier but still stretched

          1. thats on the iphone.. seems to be fixed on my mac, running chrome

          2. Same here, still stretched vertically, but not to the extreme it was before.

  2. The budget cap, designed to stop teams over spending in order to win is strongly opposed by the teams who are over spending, in order to put them on top.

    Who would have thought it?

    The obvious consequence of this is, if you want a budget cap. You can not do it and keep the big teams happy, you have to do it in spite of them.

    1. Especially a particular constructor called Ferrari… with Bernie saying he wants a budget cap one minute, and that Ferrari has a special place in F1 the next, it’s hard to know what he’s really up to.

      Which, of course, is precisely the point. Both as a negotiation tactic and to generate attention.

      1. Put in there RedBull, McLaren and Mercedes too.
        RedBull, for instance but the others too, can have the luxury of making a car that uses exaust gases to blow the diffuser and then [b]if[/b] it’s deemed illegal they just roll back another spec.

  3. The issue with commentators explaining F1 rules more often than other sports is due to “the rules” changing every season. Granted, explaining the rules towards the end of a season gets a bit pointless, but still, with long gaps between races and the vast number of rules, it can sometimes be difficult to keep on top of. I would assume more so for casual viewers. Compared to tennis/rugby, the rules have not really changed for decades. So I feel its not a good comparison.

    1. They still used to explain the rules a lot even when they were stable & its also done regularly in other categories even with rules that havn’t changed for years.
      One example is Indycar, they have had the push to pass syetem since 2008 yet still explain it in detail every race, same with the 2 compound tyre rules & no blocking rules.

      The reason its done is because Motorsport tends to be more technical than other sports & tends to catch more casual viewers who of cource don’t know a lot about the sport.

      In Tennis a double fault is self explanitory, Without anyone telling me I figured out what one was the 1st time i saw one while watching wimbledon.
      In F1 its not easy to pick up what DRS or KERS is, how they work, why there there & what they do unless its explained. If you follow F1 closely you will know, However if you are a casual fan that doesn’t really follow it that closely (like my sister) you won’t know untill its explained.
      Same with double diffusres, blown diffusers, off throttle exhaust blowing etc… all very technical if you don’t follow that side of the sport that closely.

      I remember back in 1985 when i started watching motorsport at the age of 10, I knew nothing about the sport & since i didn’t watch every race that was on or every racing series that was on it took a while to figure everything out.
      Having tv commentators explaining aerodynamics & why the cars had wings & why the tyres were smooth rather than grooved like road tyres was a vital part of me learning the sport & why the cars looked as they did & worked like they did.

      When I started watching tennis in 1999 i managed to figure the rules out on my own in the 1st week of watching wimbledon. after hearing a double fault called a few times i kinda figured out what that was, watching when points got called i figured out the basic rules of the games & i figured out where the boundaries of the court was & how the points system worked just by watching. not that simple with the technical world of f1.

      1. I agree, more complicated/technical rules and concepts/changes for an audience to get their heads round.

        But I would still assert that if the rules of F1 had stayed the same since its inception (which is more or less the case with sports like football, rugby etc.) then the commentators would not be explaining things as much. Obviously that could not happen with F1 due to the type of sport. Which is why the commentators do what they do and it cannot really be compared to most other sports in the need to explain things.

        I do think that sometimes that they do explain some rules too much, especially as the season nears the middle/end. But most of the time I do not have a problem with it.

  4. Though I haven’t read the whole argument, Morrison’s argument is an interesting one. I do think that the segments can be a bit overdone sometimes. However I feel like I have to state the obvious here, which is that there are fundamental differences between sports like football and rugby, and F1. The rules for football and rugby are everlasting and more importantly everybody knows most of the rules for these games whether they watch it regularly or not. By contrast if you are a newbie to F1 chances are you won’t know about the rules for DRS or KERS until you watch the race segments or find out by listening to the commentator during the race, and of course the rules change which mandate the need for such segments.

    1. As @mach1 and @herman say it’s difficult to compare them. Not only do the rules change in F1 but they also differ from other motorsport series. Most people will have played football or tennis before, and the rules are mostly the same right up to the top.

      Personally I wouldn’t mind if they explained the rules in Rugby more often, I have no clue :P.

      1. Sky should have an ‘explain’ feature, so that during the race you can look up any rule, design element or strategy from a list and upon selecting it have it explained as a pre-recorded bit by Brundle. This could either just be audio over the main race screen, or a side-by-side if the viewer wants some helpful visuals too. Sky could do it, and it would mean the rest of us don’t need to have the rules explained to us every time we watch as the commentators can focus on telling us about the race.

        1. Call me old fashioned but aren’t the rules already available on in a fairly easy-to-digest form? Most people have internet access these days, so some links to where to find info that already exists would be cool.

          (I always resent having to watch video where a clearly written, searchable and indexable paragraph of text would do, but I admit I may be in a minority).

          1. Casual fans won’t appreciate having to go far to fnid that though, and visuals are often better to explain some things.

      2. @george I agree – motorsport is a bit special. And to be fair, rugby commentators do often have to explain the rules in rugby as sometimes experimental law variations are introduced during a season, or the refs are asked to interpret or apply existing laws in a specific way to “improve the show”. And the mechanics of the scrum have to be explained to anyone who hasn’t played as a forward… who knows what goes on in there.

    2. The rules for football and [laws in] rugby are everlasting and more importantly everybody knows most of the rules for these games whether they watch it regularly or not

      Not really, the laws in Rugby Union get changed nearly every year. Recently very significantly changes at that, for example regarding carrying back into the 22 and deadball areas as well as changes to kicking. Sure most people know the fundamental rules but I’d suggest they do in F1 as well.

      There are allot of people that watch Rugby that do not understand the rules, same for F1 and in both you get segments explaining the changes or little understood elements of the sport.

  5. I wonder if Bernie thinks that a cap on race fees that he charges is a good idea also

    1. So what is your advice to these ‘daydreamers’?
      Ecclestone: “Change the colour of your glasses and tighten your belts. Stop spending more than you need to.”

      Does he not realize how catastrophic – but, nevertheless, hilarious – it would be for FOM if its business partners followed such advice?

    2. Very probably. Brendan, to me this reads exactly like that. Instead of asking him for more money they should spend less!

      Actually, I agree with him that a top to the budget, if it would be tied in with the way money is distributed under the contract between teams, promoter and the FIA would be the only way it could work. But it does not make sense to take half of what is earned out of the sport, like its done now.
      And then they should have a good look at the venues F1 goes racing at and make long term deals for more reasonable (as the budget cap and giving 10-15% max for the promoter frees up a bit of the budget) terms to the circuits that matter for the image and feel of the sport, to ensure these stay on the calendar and can be visited by a massive crowd for reasonable money each time.

  6. I understand why they explain but they should only do that in the british gp, monaco and the new us races.

  7. I dont know about you gents, but DRS or no DRS, to BD or not to EBD, one or two moves to defend, whatever…….
    I am getting excited, even to see these ugly stepped noses in action. Bring on Melbourne!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. And this from a man who three years ago when Max had the idea was dead against any kind of budget cap, saying that it just wasn’t F1. OK the figure Max put on it was very low but the concept was good I thought and the details could have been sorted. But Bernie said no and that was that, now Bernie has a change of mind.
    Not very forward thinking, I wonder if Ferrari are feeling the pinch?

  9. Ecclestone is getting really too old for this, demnetia….

    1. No, he has always reversed his opinion every few years.

  10. A budget cap will work only when teams need to do it. If the FIA forces them to follow a budget cap, it’ll be impossible to work it out.

  11. Is it 2009 again? The last time I heard about a budget cap proposal, it sent this very sport to the edge of the proverbial cliff. Do we really need to go through that again?

    Yep, it’s time to renew the Concorde Agreement again, all right.

  12. wow, the 2012 f1f entry is a bomb being dropped just before the season kicks off. team principal collantine has been sitting on this update package and his rivals are unlikely to respond until the season is well underway. has f1f already played the ace that keeps the championship streak alive?

    1. Now if only he could put an edit button. I’m surprised that with so much much work he puts on this site he still hasn’t put an edit button that is a very basic feature.
      How many times Keith post an article with his hand slipping with people telling him and him correcting it. Wouldn’t be frustrating if he couldn’t do it?
      Well the same goes for us. It’s very frustrating that we can’t edit our text.

      1. I think this subject was discussed several times already. And I pretty much agree with the reasons chosen NOT to put in an edit button for posts.

      2. Sadly, @solo, we don’t live in a perfect world: some people without common sense could easily edit their comment to make a fool of the users which replied. Imagine if I said: “Do you like DRS?” and you answered: “Yes”. Now think what your reaction would be if I edited my comment to: “Are you stupid?”.

        1. I find that argument weak. I’ve been around the internet and even in crazy blogs full of trolls you very rarely see such a thing. They don’t take back their words like that, they simply post idiotic stuff and leave it there. I can’t see it will happening in F1F.
          Besides denying logical users a very basic feature because of a possible troll isn’t the way to go.
          With that thinking we might as well deny posting altogether because someone could start commenting about other peoples mother.

        2. I find that argument weak. I’ve been around the internet and even in crazy blogs full of trolls you very rarely see such a thing. They don’t take back their words like that, they simply post crazy stuff and leave it there. I can’t see it will happening in F1F.
          Besides denying logical users a very basic feature because of a possible troll isn’t the way to go.
          With that thinking we might as well deny posting altogether because someone could start commenting about other peoples mother.

  13. Imposing budget restrictions limits the innovation of the top teams and that innovation is at the heart of what makes F1 great. If Bernie is interested in improving competition, why not adjust the rules to the advantage of less competitive teams?

    For example, the bottom third of teams in the constructors’ standings could activate the DRS, only in the designated zone, whether or not their car was one second behind the car in front. So, Marussia, HRT, Caterham, and Williams could compensate for their less competitive cars by opening the DRS every time through the zone.

    It’s not a perfect solution but I think it is preferable to budget restrictions, “take a spin in last year’s McLaren”, or any other change Bernie has suggested.

    1. That would be terrible. Its like letting weaker football teams play with more players against Man United and have two goalkeepers. In my opinion that would cause F1 to lose all credibility as a sport.

      A budget cap is a much more fair solution. The purists would surelyagree. No DRS, no artificial advantage. Just a level playing field. All teams would have a cap which would include the driver’s salaries. (the size of this budget can be argued) There would be much more freedom in the technical regulations, lower restrictions on engine and tyre development, exotic materials etc. Teams would have to manage their resources and focus on one thing or another, or a compromise (aero vs engine for example)

      I believe this would create a fair and competitive environment where smart people and smart solutions are the biggest asset. All teams, including new entrants would have a realistic chance of competing at the top. This would surely help potential sponsorship as well.

    2. Completely disagree, people racing on different rules is ridiculous. Who wants to win by getting such help anyway? Two tier F1 isn’t desirable, people have a problem with how unfair DRS is right now and you want to make more of it?
      Besides such tricks won’t solve fundamental problems.

      A budget cap won’t restrict innovation at all. Quite the opposite. What Mosley wanted to do was limit the money and open the rules restricting the teams on what they can do. What makes the cars look all very similar is the strict rules that define every little thing.
      With more open rules all inspiration and innovation will take the frond. Innovation will also be engaged by the little available money and the attempt to find something smart.

      We might all had a bad eye for Max but it’s time we bow our head and admit that he was right. F1 needs a budget cap or else we will end with a rule book with ten thousands articles that the only thing not restricted is the colors on the helmet of the driver. He just went all wrong about it by wanting two different set of rules at first and putting too low of initial budget making things extremely difficult for teams with lots of personnel.
      Also as it is, other teams have no chance on winning against overly rich teams. With a budget cap everyone will be at a fair playing field and it will be just about how good work they can do.
      Big teams of course don’t want to lose their advantage and i imagine the same goes for their fans who will start objecting and finding excuses out of fear that their favorite team might lose the advantage and not have a top 5 position certain even when it messes-up but they have to get off their egoistical horse and put their love for F1 first.

      Anyway as for Bernie.I have no idea if he saw the light or he just wants the budget cap so he can simply not give more money to the teams with the excuse that they don’t need it but despite his intentions the budget cap seems like the only solution now since the RRA stuff don’t seem to work.

    3. I agree the tail-end teams need help but not in the race, I would suggest more testing to allow them to catch-up faster.

    4. As mentioned, the DRS idea isn’t great but, in spite of the conviction with which they were delivered, I still did not see a convincing argument for budget restrictions.
      If you want budget restrictions and lots of teams on a level playing field, you can enjoy IndyCar.

  14. The thing about introducing a budget cap is that if it’s going to be done, then it has to be done right. The top teams will resist it, because they know that they can go faster if they spend more money. As soon as any budget cap is introduced, the teams will start scouring it, looking for loopholes that would allow them to spend more and more. There need to be severe penalties for anyone caught breaking the rules, but the FIA would also need to consider a way of stopping teams from accusing one another of over-spending in the hopes that they will be found guilty.

    1. I would say that the only one able to “impose” it would be Bernie (in cooperation with Todt). If he would do that as part of the Concorde agreement (giving money to teams being influenced by how much they were spending – punishing overspending) it might actually work.
      However, as the only reason Bernie brings this up is to tell the teams they should not be asking him for more money but stop spending it, I realize that proposal is fully illusionary on my part.

      1. @BasCB, you are correct about Bernies agenda, pity so many people think a budget cap is realistic.

    2. @prisoner-monkeys Ultimately, everything’s relative. If all the teams only spend X amount and there’s only one winner come the season end you can attribute that to the power of knowledge and team cohesion rather than how much money you can throw at it.

      It’s not so much about the budget and I think the teams would agree, it’s more about the effort to police it. You were spot on saying that there needs to be a way of stopping teams from accusing other teams of over-spending.

      Ideally all the accounts should be private (subject to things like Companies House in the UK) and the FIA should be asking how one team knows another’s finances. How you acquired that information should come under scrutiny first.

  15. Not sure I buy all this “we cant have a budget cap otherwise F1 wont be at the pinnacle” arguing. It’s a fact that the teams don’t have infinite resources, otherwise they’d never worry about getting parts to the car on time etc.

    Efficiently spending your money, and getting the most out of every Pound is an art in itself, and is easily forgotten. If the powers that be are worried about F1’s image as a gaz guzzling ecohating monster, and would spend so much making the engines more efficient why not the teams as a whole? It’d make them a lot more relevant towards businesses and manufacturers.

    Plus, money isnt everything. McLaren and Ferrari have plenty of cash, but the privateer teams of Brawn (yeah i know, they were a bit ambiguous) and Williams were the ones that came up with the Double diffuser

  16. Wahey! Happy birthday to me! And a big birthday shout out to the other F1 Fanatics who share their birthdays on this seriously great day!

    1. Ha, yeah, a happy birthday to all of you!

  17. This may not be a popular statement, but I am really enjoying this SkySports F1 HD channel. It goes beyond the race weekend by showing the people behind the sports. I am looking at the Enstone Lotus launch, for instance, and I have grown to understand so much more about the team and what makes it tick. I am a fan!

    1. Tell us about it in January!

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