“Nothing decided yet” on $30 million spending cap for driver salaries

by Oct 30, 20200 comments

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner rejected claims teams have already agreed a cap on driver salaries will come into force in 2023.

Team principals discussed a proposal to introduce a $30 million (£23m) spending limit on drivers’ salaries at a Formula 1 Commission meeting earlier this week. Steiner said no final decision has been taken on capping what teams can pay their drivers.

“There’s [been] talks about that since a while, about the salary cap, and there is no decision taken yet,” said Steiner. “In the end I think it will be part of Formula 1 like there is caps in a lot of other sports. But there is nothing decided yet so it’s too early to speak about that one.”

Formula 1 is already due to introduce a budget cap in 2021 which will limit teams’ spending to a maximum of $145 million. However some major costs are excluded from the cap, including driver salaries, which can run to tens of millions of pounds for the sport’s top stars.

The salary cap proposal discussed would involve setting a limit of $30 million which teams can spend on driver salaries. Beyond that, any further expenditure would be deducted from their budget cap allowance. However any team which spends less than $30 million on its drivers would not be allowed to exceed the budget cap.

Steiner said F1’s introduction of budget cap rules next year means a framework now exists within which regulations limiting drivers’ pay can be developed.

“I think at some stage there will be that crossover point coming that if you invest in drivers you cannot invest [as much] in the car,” he said. “But we need to go step-by-step on these things.

“The ultimate goal would be that: How much you invest in the drivers and how much you invest in the car. But we cannot do that straightaway, we need to stabilise these financial regulations first, then we know exactly how it works and then make a step forward. That is what I always said: Having a financial regulation in place, we can now work with it, tweak it, like we do with the technical regulations.”

Other details of the cap are yet to be finalised. “I think everything is on the table on this one,” said Steiner. “But it’s not a short-term thing, it will be a few years away, at least.”

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