Ron Dennis, McLaren, 2014

“Pie in the sky” cost cap plan won’t work, says Dennis

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ron Dennis, McLaren, 2014Ron Dennis is sceptical the FIA’s plan to introduce a cap on team budgets from 2015 can be made to work.

Speaking at McLaren’s headquarters on Thursday Dennis described the cost cap plan as “pie in the sky”.

“The issue is not the concept of a cost cap,” he said, “the issue is the regulatory process of monitoring a cost cap. It’s almost impossible.”

“It’s a simple thing, Formula One – people spend what they have,” he explained. “If you can’t afford to be in Formula One, don’t be in Formula One. There’s lots of other categories you can go motor racing in.

“It’s as simple as that. In the end, it’s been that was for very many years. For years Ferrari dominated Formula One because it had more money.”

Dennis also questioned the timing of the plan, pointing out that last year F1 “had bulletproof engines, the price of which was cascading down” which were now being replaced with “the most expensive engine in the history of motorsport”.

He voiced doubts about the “practicality of the concept” of a cost cap and said engineers will always find ways to get around technical constraints on performance:

“If you brought in a cost cap that said that a wheel upright had to weigh a certain amount, the concept was to avoid using exotic materials, the designer would say ‘well, I want to have to lowest possible centre of gravity’, they would make it from the most exotic materials and they would put tungsten at the bottom to lower the centre of gravity.”

Following the disbanding of the Formula One Teams’ Association last week, which McLaren helped to form in 2009, Dennis said McLaren’s first priority would now be to itself rather than the collective action with other teams in the sport.

“I think I’ve done my bit over the years,” he said.

“I won’t be moved away from the principles by which this company runs and we will always be supportive of what we believe to be right. But certainly this year we are going to be totally focused on returning ourselves to competitiveness.

“We have sacrificed enough for the benefit of the whole.”

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