Honda website
Honda website

MARCH 19, 2004

F1 budget-capping "not realistic"

Ford's motorsport boss Richard Parry-Jones suggested in Australia that one way to cut costs in Formula 1 would be to introduce a system of budget-capping.

"I am not going to comment on it," said Jean Todt. "It's unrealistic."

"Impossible to police," said Ron Dennis. "I just totally and utterly disagree with it. It's an absolutely unpoliceable proposal. And not only that, it puts more and more control in somebody's hands which isn't what Formula 1's about."

"We have a certain amount of money," said Frank Williams. We spend it to win. What we will never do is spend money we haven't got. That's our budget cap. It's competition to get the best deals and we fight each other fairly, in the commercial world, like all companies do, but we would be wrong not to try and do the best for our company."

Jaguar Racing's Tony Purnell had a rather different view.

"I like the idea because it makes the cleverest, most efficient company wins, rather than just money muscle. It would make it a very interesting business and technical exercise to try and do the best job on a fixed budget. It would certainly revolutionise the sport. In the same way that the accountants come in to police any company, certainly in the western world, to audit your accounts. You certainly couldn't have technical partners, because you would have to close backdoors to it, but I don't see it to be as difficult to police as people imagine.

"The other thing," Purnell added, "is that in business there are laws about monopolies and unfair competition. In the sport we seem to be promoting exactly that situation because the small teams just cannot compete."