APRIL 3, 2020
Teams to discuss lower 2021 budget cap
Formula 1 teams are vowing to be "flexible" in order to pave the way for a "recovery" from the coronavirus crisis.
That is the claim of Frederic Vasseur, boss of the Alfa Romeo team who along with Haas and Williams are the most obviously exposed by the current lack of racing.
"We are still in an extraordinary situation that nobody controls," he told Ouest France newspaper. "Not even the politicians.
"What we can do is try to be flexible and prepare as well as possible for a recovery."
Indeed, it emerges that the small teams are now pushing for the $175 million budget cap for 2021 to be reduced to $100m.
It is believed the FIA is at least prepared to drop it to $150m, as per Red Bull's suggestion, while Ferrari would prefer alternate cost savings because it fears a much harsher cap will mean widespread job losses.
But a source at one of the small teams told Auto Motor und Sport: "If three or four teams have to give up entirely, many more jobs will be lost."
Mercedes is understood to be happy to agree to $150m. The team bosses will meet with the FIA and FOM via video on April 6 to discuss it.
As for when the racing will resume in 2020, Vasseur admits he doesn't know.
"Of course we want to race again, because it is our life. But I think the number one priority for everyone is safety," said the Frenchman.
"We will avoid making 3000 people travel from country to country when it is for health, but as soon as we have the right, we hope to be able to go back to our profession, our passion, as soon as possible.
"But the epidemic is not at the same stage in different corners of the world, so once it is over, I don't know how quickly normal social life will return.
"A race means putting more than 100,000 people in the same place on the same day, so I think we cannot go faster than the music. It's not up to us to take big risks for what we do. We just have to be ready to start again," added Vasseur.
However, he said there is a bright side to the crisis for Formula 1.
"Honestly, although this crisis is an absolute drama for people, for the economy, for everyone, it also creates different forms of solidarity," said the Alfa Romeo boss.
"In F1, for example, we came to an agreement after having spent years on the conception of the technical regulations."