Todt scraps budget cap plans for 2015

F1 Fanatic Round-up

F1F CSIn the round-up: Jean Todt admits that the FIA will not enforce a budget cap in 2015 as originally planned.


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Formula 1 cost cap plans abandoned according to FIA’s Jean Todt (Autosport)

Todt: “Most of the teams were in favour of the cost cap, but I understand that all the teams that are part of the Strategy Group are against it now. So clearly, if the commercial rights holder, and if six teams, which means 12 of 18 are against, I cannot impose it. It’s mathematics. So in this case, no more cost cap.”

Jean Todt, Christian Horner, Helmut Marko, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014

F1 bosses agree to look into ways to increase engine noise (Autosport)

“After a series of meetings over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend to discuss the current state of F1, Autosport understands that unanimous agreement was reached for action to be taken regarding the noise. A working group is to be set up by the FIA to look into the matter, with a view of making sure that the turbo noise can increase as soon as possible.”

McLaren boss Ron Dennis urges squabbling F1 to respect the future (Sky)

Dennis: “There has to be a time, and I think that time is now, when we take a more socially-responsible position. The simple fact is that we live in a world where resources are depleting and the environment is being threatened. Yes, we are Formula 1, yes we are the pinnacle of motorsport, but being the pinnacle of motorsport means we have to have the latest technology”

‘We were not good enough – Vettel (ESPN)

Vettel: “It’s a shame we couldn’t get further up because Daniel proved there was a little bit more to get. I couldn’t really get to that bit so I’m not happy with my day. For some reason we seem to be very slow down the straights, and not just against the Mercs. We pushed hard… but obviously we were not good enough today.”

Exclusive Vijay Mallya Q&A: It’s great to break our podium jinx!

Mallya: “It is a very special moment. My job was always to make this team climb up the ladder – steadily. I always believed that 2014 – with all the new regulations – gave us a new opportunity. And so far what a good season it has been!”

Button says McLaren now second to Mercedes (Racer)

Button: “The only team that was quicker than us today was the Mercedes, Force India was obviously competitive, but I think we would have fought them very well at the end but we didn’t get the opportunity.”

FIA president resists demand for rule changes (BBCF1)

Jean Todt: “Do you hear [championship leader] Nico Rosberg complaining? Did you hear [world champion] Sebastian Vettel complaining last year? Those doing well aren’t complaining, those that aren’t, are.”

Honda and Ford could power new F1 teams in 2015 (Racecar Engineering)

“Meanwhile the Haas Automation entry could utilise Ford branded Cosworth engines, the English firm has recently opened a new office in Detroit and developed its own power unit for the 2014 season, but refused to put it into production without [an original equipment manufacturer] partner.”

Screw you Guys, I’m going home (The Buxton Blog)

“One wonders why Ferrari and Red Bull are suddenly so concerned over the opinions of the fans, when every poll conducted in the independent domain over double points repeatedly sees well over a 95% dislike of the rule, and yet they have not seen fit to push for its eradication.”


Comment of the day

With yesterday’s thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix set to become one of the most popular races ever on ‘Rate the Race’, jonny705 feels that despite the drama, it wasn’t quite deserving of a full ten out of ten…

I think people are getting slightly carried away with the rating, probably (and understandably so) because it’s been so long since we’ve had any real battle for the lead and such brilliant drama up and down the field.

But it’s almost as if we’ve forgotten how good F1 can really get.

This was a Grand Prix jam-packed with action, tension, drama from start to finish. Team mates flouting the pleas of their superiors, two different approaches to strategy that kept us guessing throughout the race’s entirety, and a spectacular crash that hopefully sends a message to the FIA that changing the shape of the noses won’t deny us fans the occasional amazing sight of a flying/flipping/barrel-rolling car. You can’t ask for much more.

But was it as good as Brazil 2012? Not quite. Plenty of on-track drama, but it lacked that extra spice – a championship wasn’t at stake, and final-race showdowns will always have that added bit of tension (or at least they did before they messed with the points).

Was it as good as Canada 2011? Nowhere near. That is the definition of a race that had pretty much everything you could ask for.

A 10/10 race is one where you get a special feeling inside, one that tells you that you’ve just watched something very special. Think long and hard, did you get that feeling as Hamilton crossed the line? If the answer is yes, you need to go and watch one of the two aforementioned races. If not, it’s because this race was a very good 9/10. Excellent Grand Prix, but to make it a 10 it needs something truly sensational – a driver coming back from nowhere, for example.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Macleod and Josie Maunders!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

McLaren won their second race in a row at the start of the 1984 season 30 years ago today, Niki Lauda leading home team mate Alain Prost at Kyalami. Derek Warwick was third for Renault, a lap down.

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113 comments on Todt scraps budget cap plans for 2015

  1. JohnBt (@johnbt) said on 7th April 2014, 6:33

    Cost cap is baloney, like telling a rich man you are not allowed to buy a Bugatti Veron, a Rolls Royce but you can buy a Ferrari Taxi if you like. Of course it has to be scrap Jean Todt.

    Increasing the noise at the moment will be artificial like those wanna be street cars in cities. Sales of tickets must be bad eh? Too late! (I didn’t see any crowd in Bahrain, honestly).

    Don’t drag F1 down by trying to align them with road cars. There’s more than enough sportscar races doing that already as in Le Mans, DTM, Super GT and many others.

    As a fan I want F1 to be totally unique on its own and thrill me till the last lap for every race that is loud, fast, brash and a big show off and no one should be allowed to own anything related to F1 except the elites. I like using ear plugs and still feel the vibrations and thunderous audio when cars sweep past me every lap. That’s romantic to me.

    And finally bring the prices of tickets down Bernie! After attending the Singapore GP for six years I’m gonna skip this year for sure, what’s the point of paying so much watching slower cars with no sound.

    Just hoping the other races will be like Bahrain. We shall see.

    • OOliver said on 7th April 2014, 7:52

      The way to regulate cost is to simplify the cars and the regulations. Those parts of racing that teams spend the most money on, be it aerodynamics or, well its mainly aerodynamics, so reduce the complexity of these areas such that there is hardly any gains to be made spending much money, and then lets have the teams spend their money they way they want, be it on parties or motor homes, perhaps even gold steering wheels.

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 7th April 2014, 16:21

        No. The more simplistic you make the regs, the more resources will be put into marginal gains, and marginal gains will be more valuable. If you give teams a 10m cap and said you can only make the cars out of plywood, shopping cart wheels, and a 2-stroke lawn mower engine, they would spend every last cent make the most ridiculously awesome wooden race car ever. How did drastically reducing the complexity of aero in 2009 work out? We got rid of the flip ups everyone hated and instead got an incredibly expensive race to deveolop EBD, not to mention a variety of other appendages developed at great cost.

        As for the noise, the passion to make it louder is childish. It’s more than loud enough to get a couple days of tinnitus being in the stands. If you don’t like the quality of the sound, fine, there is accounting for taste. But louder as an end in itself is just silly.

        As for the quality, people need to step out of the past. The reason why loud high revving engines sound “powerful” to us is because the limits of ICE technology means power primarily comes from engine speed. An F1 V8 had less torque than a Honda Accord V6–from 1995. F1 has to be in the present. A spec normally aspirated V8 is about as technology-forward as NASCAR.

        • J.Danek said on 8th April 2014, 2:31

          @dmw you’re right.

          the greatest difference in spending by teams now is accounted for differing levels of R&D work “in the factory”. It costs relatively same for all teams to “go” racing. The huge $$s are put into pursuing marginal gains, like you said. And that’s why the 6 SG teams undermine spending cap: b/c it preserves their advantage.

          Now the only hope for F1 is for a disenfranchised team like Force India to make a case before the EU Competition Commission, that FOM is abusing its monopoly position (Which is so clearly true).

          People here complaining that cost caps “won’t work” or “cant be implemented/policed” are conveniently making the assumption that suits their bias. It’s sad, really.

  2. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 7th April 2014, 6:52

    Immediately after the race I was buzzing, I was bouncing off the walls, ruined after an evening spent on the edge of my seat. For the first time in absolutely ages I felt giddy after watching an F1 race, the same way I did when I started watching back in the early 90’s as a boy. I was convinced I had just watched one of the best races I had ever seen. Once I calmed down I logged on to F1F and started to read some of the rate the race comments. “It was great, but not fantastic” seemed to be the general consensus. As I had recorded the race I decided to watch it again later to see if I had maybe gotten it wrong, but no I hadn’t, my initial impression was correct. It was a stonking race. Battles throughout, loads of genuine overtaking, differing strategies, a genuine battle for the lead, intra-team battles, edge of your seat stuff from start to finish. These are all the things we have been screaming out for over the last few years and we got them at last.

    It was a modern classic. Was it as good as Suzuka 2005? Probably not. As good as Brazil 2008? Probably not. As good as Canada 2011, pretty darn close. We are comparing Bahrain 2014 to those all time classics, that HAS to be a good thing and has to mean that F1 is finally starting to get it right.

    • trotter said on 7th April 2014, 7:33

      Race was definitely great and really thrilling. It wasn’t perfect, if you could pick and choreograph your perfect race, but that’s not the point either. It would be stupid if every race was a climax title showdown, because it would become monotonous after a while again. Every track and every race should have something great on its own, and I think Bahrain 2014 was really definition of close quarters combat with plenty of genuine overtaking. The great and unique thing is that we didn’t have just overtakes, we had a bunch of multiple-corner duels that lasted sometimes even for a few laps. I think that was unique to this event and it was definitely one of the busiest races I can remember in terms of dicing for position.

      Only pain was that I had to watch it at NBCSN. Those commercials are, well, not my thing in the slightest, but that’s another story. :)

      • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 7th April 2014, 10:18

        Yes, it’s a neat track design that’s finally got some F1 cars that suit it. The multiple-corner stuff’s often been a feature of GP2 races, and hopefully we’ll see more of that at Silverstone and Austria.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th April 2014, 13:48

        @trotter, Like you I watched on NBCsn and the commercials are a real blight but at least they seem to have reduced the amount of time that they are blocking the entire screen with a Text-board. Next race I’ll be back home in Australia and I’m not expecting any improvement other than being able to watch without paying for cable.

  3. Girts (@girts) said on 7th April 2014, 7:54

    I believe that Jean Todt is a good president of the FIA, certainly much better than his predecessors, he gives reasonable opinions instead of regularly coming out with loud but useless statements like others often do to attract attention or push their own agendas.

    It is a pity that the budget cap is scrapped but I never really believed it would work, not because it would be technically impossible to implement it but because the rich teams and FOM don’t feel that they need it. Todt makes it clear that it makes no sense for the FIA to fight a losing battle and that he is not to blame for the teams’ failure to agree on adequate cost cutting measures.

    He’s also spot on about the “rule changes”, the 2014 rules were adopted years ago and suddenly they’ve turned out to be bad. Ecclestone, Montezemolo and Horner approved these rules so they should step down from their positions if they have done a bad job. As for excitement, it was silly to judge “the new F1″ after only two races, there have always been a lot of mediocre and dull races in F1 and trying to turn every race into a “Brazil 2012″ by artificial means will definitely kill the sport. If people want to be blown away by the sound, then add some microphones and let them enjoy it.

    Rant over.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 7th April 2014, 9:46

      you believe Todt is a good president of FIA b/c he says reasonable things but still does either foolish things, corrupt, cynical things, or nothing at all?

      strange logic.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 7th April 2014, 9:47

      And OF COURSE FIA is largely to BLAME!
      They signed a bilateral agreement w/ FOM knowing that the Concorde was being undermined by their actions, and the actions being pursued unilaterally by FOM to pick-off the richest teams.

      Please. Jean Todt is no better a president of FIA than Max M.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th April 2014, 13:55

        @joepa, Max M and his collusion with BE are the root of all F1s problems. JT has no tools to oppose BE because of MM, whether he would use them if he had them we will never know but he can’t be as bad as MM because he has less control.

        • J.Danek said on 8th April 2014, 3:16

          @hohum @joepa – I agree that the root of the current problem was corrupt sale by FIA of F1 commercial rights to Bernie’s preferred people.

          And so the crux of the matter is that the FIA requires money, and has turned to both the FOM and the teams for funding. Todt gave an interview to Financial Times in which he said:

          “If you sometimes read the figures, F1 is a $2billion [revenue] business or $1.5bn. The FIA is a non-profit organisation, but we need to run our organisation. We need to encourage the development of the sport; we need to encourage development of action for road safety.”

          “We cannot be a federation without having any revenue. So where do we find our revenues?”

          So yes, you’re right that Todt inherited the presidency of the cash-strapped FIA from Mosley, on whose watch Ecclestone’s family business was able to purchase F1’s 113-year commercial rights at a bargain-basement price – without sufficient provision having been made for the body’s [FIA] financial future.

          But Todt has also said, somewhat cryptically:

          “I’m not a dictator trying to control. The contribution and role of the FIA has to be protected, to be respected.”

          I don’t have the time right now to detail everything here, but basically, FIA under Todt “sold” even more power/control over F1 to FOM in exchange for desperately needed revenue, resulting in the radical change in governance to the Strat. Group that disenfranchised half the grid.

          But that was directly facilitated by FIA! I don’t know how you can not attribute to Todt the obvious responsibility he has for giving (selling) FOM even more control over F1.

          The sport is being raped by CVC, with FIA happy to pocket even more money now than it got under Mosely. This is impossibly-sustainable.

  4. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 7th April 2014, 7:58

    Completely disagree with the COTD.

    A race’s rating does not purely depend on the championship positions and the drama it creates. This race had clearly all the ingredients to be labelled as ‘Classic’. The reason for that was clear. Immensely close racing with a pack of 7 to 8 cars bunched up together, team mates were getting rattled by each other (Mercs, Force Indias, Williams and Red Bulls), some phenomenal wheel to wheel action with positions changing back and forth (never saw that in Canada 2011 btw), a track that gave such an opportunity and lastly being covered under lights also added a spectacle to enjoy the cars.

    There have been few races that leave their mark on fans (Japan ’05, Imola ’05, Brazil ’08, Valencia ’12 and a few more) and Bahrain 2014 was one of them. I still woke up this morning (15 hours after the race) with an adrenaline pump and can’t get the race out my mind.

    This race is going on my hard disk like a few of other classics.

  5. Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 7th April 2014, 8:58

    @jonny705 re CoTD

    I can understand your opinion, but i respectfully disagree. I’m usually very conservative on ‘rate the race’ ratings, almost always voting below the average rating. Title deciders do have that added tension, but i decided it’s a bit unfair to give a lower rating on this basis, because that would mean only 1 or 2 races in a season could ever achieve a ‘maximum rating, regardless of how epic they are in their own right.

    It’s interesting you bring up Canada 2011 and Brazil 2012, because that’s exactly the two races i thought of to compare it to. I would say this race was every bit as good as those two (title decider argument aside), i can’t remember such a fierce battle for the lead, or between 3rd and 8th places, and especially in a dry race too. Very rarely am i looking at the race lap counter at the end of the race and wishing there were another 20 laps to go.

    So on your final point, i remember those two races well, and i’ll remember this one right up there alongside them. Canada 2011, Brazil 2012, Bahrain 2014, undoubtedly three of the best in recent years.

  6. tonyyeb (@tonyyeb) said on 7th April 2014, 9:18

    Well said Todt, well said Lauda, Jeremy Clarkson is a tool and Jenson Button is on another planet if he thinks McLaren are the second best team at the moment.

    • Oople said on 7th April 2014, 10:31


      I think Button’s comments, albeit optimistic, aren’t far off in regards to ‘race pace’ (quali pace they’re still pretty dismal).
      I reckon Button had a solid chance of overtaking Hulkenberg, and fighting with Perez, had the Safety Car and Gearbox Problems not arisen.

      I don’t think he necessarily had the pace for a podium, but the chance was real.

    • trotter said on 7th April 2014, 13:14

      Glad to find someone else who shares the contempt for Clarkson. I think he is an obnoxious loudmouth.

    • Jueta (@eljueta) said on 7th April 2014, 13:19

      +1, Clarkson is a tool. He’s a loveable tool though.

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 7th April 2014, 13:30

      A lot of people seem to base “their” opinion of Senna on a gushing five-minute film he once made.
      My expectations for the race were about the same as his, and so was my reaction afterwards.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th April 2014, 14:03

      @tonyyeb, Clarkson as Colonel Blimp gets the message across far more effectively than any dry, reasoned analysis does, and his criticism was spot on for F1 2013/12/11, just as his conclusion was spot on for F1 2014.

  7. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 7th April 2014, 9:31

    I think the cost cap was unworkable, but Napoleon’s reasons for scrapping it are frightening…
    “Most of the teams were in favour, so this time we only asked the 6 richest ones, and they told us what we wanted to hear”.

  8. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 7th April 2014, 9:43

    F1 governance has become such a joke I truly hope it does go before EU competition commission.

  9. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 7th April 2014, 9:54

    I think people in general are a bit trigger-happy with the higher ratings on Rate the Race threads. The number of lights-to-flag Vettel snoozefests I saw last year, only to see comments like “That race was really boring, no action at the front and hardly any in the midfield. 7/10″ was unbelievable. So there might be a general trend to rate races above where they might be if it was a perfectly linear 1-10 scale (if such a thing were possible with subjective opinions).

    That said, it would be churlish not to acknowledge that yesterday’s was one of the best races in recent years. In my view it had more entertainment than the whole 2013 season.

  10. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 7th April 2014, 9:59

    Will Buxton, you absolute ledgend!

  11. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 7th April 2014, 10:09

    Autosport understands that unanimous agreement was reached for action to be taken regarding the noise.

    Let me look into my crystal ball and predict what may occur from these actions agreed upon today…

    I predict that the FIA will make some rule changes to force teams to fit some foreign amplification device in between the turbo and the exhaust which will some how amplify the pitch and volume of the exhaust note. After the introduction of the device, many fans at the track are taken to the hospital with terrible migraines as the pitch/note sound vibrates at such a frequency in which the inner ear cannot cope, even with normal ear plugs. Special ear plugs are then sanctioned by the FIA to help fans “enjoy” the f1 experience without a full blown migraine.

    After a couple more races, Mercedes powered cars no longer have pace, and are fighting with the Caterhams and Marussia’s as they are some 20km/h off the pace of the Ferrari’s and 5km/h off the pace of the RBR. It turns out that Ferrari had worked out a way of using the energy of the amplifier in the exhaust system to further boost their MGU-H & MGU-K systems by adding another 100kw. RBR used the inducted air needed by the amplifier to use as a blown diffuser over the rear wheels, making the car stick to the ground like glue, and as such are able to run with Monza levels of downforce at Monaco. Both systems are deemed legal by the FIA as the rules do not cater for the potential of such craftiness by the teams.

    Last but not least, tragedy strikes in Monaco, as Prince Alberts’ dog dies while at the circuit. Although the pooch had the specially sanctioned FIA ear plugs, the dogs aural sensitivity to the new pitch/note of the exhaust proved too stressful and the poor little fellow died with a massive coronary. Upon hearing of the Prince’s dog, hundreds of angry residents of the previous grand prix start writing in complaining about how their pets have also been injured. Then the law suits start rolling in, as it is discovered that pets within a 10km radius of the circuits have been affected.

    But hey, all in the day of an FIA official, pandering to the whims of those unhappy with a different sound.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th April 2014, 11:03

      I read the FIA will appoint a panel to look at it. No doubt they will agree that nothing much can be done (because it requires unanimity for this year, which is never going to happen), apart from changing the microphones bernies FOM use to capture the sound and make some reccomandations for next year that might, or might not, get voted down in the WMSC later this year @dragoll

      But I had a nice read from your comment, thanks for that.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 7th April 2014, 16:29

      Very funny and well done. But kidding aside you can be certain that Luca and Helmut will not permit a “noise” solution to be implemented that does not advantage their teams. They are not paid to look after the fans.

      Generally, the problem with modifying the noise is that the turbo is not organized with a wastegate and it’s speed is governed in part by an electric motor. So you will not hear the usual whooshing and popping that makes turbos sound cool, no matter what you do.

      Maybe the FIA can go down to Pep Boys and order a few dozen of those coffee-can exhausts normally seen on riced Civics and stick them on the back of the cars.

  12. Jason (@jason12) said on 7th April 2014, 10:54

    Looks like VET is now going to be one of those drivers who have an excuse after each and every race.

  13. Why are the FIA looking in to the engine noise as a priority “due to public opinion”?

    When Sky F1 did a twitter poll on the F1 show it was a 51/49% split in favour of the engine noise being increased. Pretty much every poll I have seen regarding the double points puts it at least 90% in favour of scrapping it with many teams and media ridiculing it?

    Bernie even said it “probably wasn’t fair” in an interview this weekend.


  14. ElBasque (@elbasque) said on 7th April 2014, 15:23

    Previously announced budget cap scrapped in the middle of processing new team applications? It’s like im stuck in a time vortex!

    Hopefully i’ve travelled to bizarroworld where soon they’ll announce the scrapping of DRS to improve racing.

  15. Nick (@npf1) said on 7th April 2014, 15:49

    Seeing Ron Dennis back in charge, I’m not sure I’m surprised that Button goes from hoping for a podium before the event got underway to being sure he could have been on the podium after retiring from the race. Granted, their pace was good, but I doubt Ron Dennis/McLaren has un-learned their lesson from seasons such as 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 or 2012; to finish first, first you have to finish.

    • mellow-jessica said on 8th April 2014, 3:35

      @npf1 I don’t understand your comment.

      Why do you mock Button? He is a former World Champion and triathlete and my favorite driver!!

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