Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has cautioned that some F1 teams could be forced to miss races in 2022 if the sport does not raise the cost cap which as introduced at the beginning of this year.
Currently the cap stands at $140 million, but with inflation hitting double digits and key F1 costs such as freight surging, Horner has said that without flexibility some teams will face a crunch towards the end of the year.
The Red Bull chief said that the FIA needs to address the issue, with all teams affected by the rise in operating costs.
“Seven of the teams would probably need to miss the last four races to come within the cap this year,” Horner told reporters after the Spanish GP.
“It’s not just about the big teams. It’s teams in the middle of the field who are really struggling with inflationary issues.”
He added that the FIA was aware of the issue, with the impact of inflation on costs something that fell out of the teams’ control.
“The FIA has a duty of care. I know they are taking it seriously,” Horner said.
“Energy bills, costs of living, costs are going exponentially, and F1 is not exempt. Freight has quadrupled and that’s not something we can control.”
Team aware of rising inflation
However, Alpine team principal Otmzar Szafnauer said that teams were aware of rising inflation when they calculated their budgts ahead of the 2022 F1 season, and that it was possible to make adjustments to remain within the cost cap.
“We’ve set our budgets early, we kind of anticipated a little bit of the inflation,” Szafnauer told reporters.
“Inflation didn’t just creep up on us. If we can do it, for sure others can do it too. I’m not for just increasing the cap
“When freight costs go up by 2.5m or 3.5m but your development budget is 20m, can you not make your development budget 17m and still be under the cap? You can.
“What that then does is it limits your development. So it’s a lot easier, if you have the money, to go to the FIA and lobby to raise the cap and keep your development budget the same.”