Mercedes: Cost cap makes big accidents "quite a concern"

Mercedes believes large accidents, such as Valtteri Bottas' sizeable Imola crash, could also have a knock-on effect on the team's development due to Formula 1's new budget cap.

Mercedes: Cost cap makes big accidents "quite a concern"

This year, F1 introduced an annual $145 million cost cap, followed by a further $5 million year-on-year reduction in subsequent seasons.

The cap meant F1's largest teams have had to downsize to operate as close to the spending limit as possible, with little margin for unforeseen costs such as accident damage.

When F1 teams agreed to trial three sprint races this season an additional budget cap allowance - understood to be around $500,000 - was a key factor in getting the sprint race plan across the line.

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix crash involving Williams driver George Russell and Bottas - whose Mercedes W12 was all but written off - illustrated Mercedes' fresh concerns on crash damage compromising the rest of the team's budget.

"The new factor for us this year is that we're all cost capped," Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained.

"This sort of damage isn't really in the plan. Our drivers have been incredibly good at getting through seasons without breaking much in recent years, and certainly the bill in terms of carbon work and metal work will be very extensive from that.

"So, we'll go through and look at what we can actually salvage and get the cars back together for Portimao. But it is quite a concern when you have these sorts of incidents."

Read Also:

Team principal Toto Wolff said that the Brackley team "always feared a total write-off of a car" because it is operating so close to the cost cap, a painful exercise which involved letting some staff go over the off-season.

Shovlin explained that expensive crashes would mean the team needs to cut spending elsewhere, which could affect its car development programme.

"If you have a series of these kind of large accidents that are doing significant damage, then that will definitely exceed our allocation for what we have available to spend on the parts," Shovlin added.

"In an ideal world you run them to life, you don't break them, anything that you do break, hopefully it's end of life or something that is about to be obsolete. But that is definitely not the case here.

"So, it is really a factor of the cost cap and the money has got to come from somewhere.

"Ultimately if it becomes a big problem, it can start to hit your development budget. So, we do need to be mindful of that moving forward."

shares
comments

Related video

Why Hamilton didn’t break F1’s rules for reversing on track

Previous article

Why Hamilton didn’t break F1’s rules for reversing on track

Next article

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash
Load comments
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021