F1 Budget Caps: Why do teams have the power to make policy?

The top teams in the F1 Strategy Group have yet again vetoed a budget cap for the sport in 2015. I am surprised by two of the teams in the strategy group voting against a budget cap, those teams being Williams and Lotus who have both had cash-flow issues in recent years. Obviously the four smaller outfits Force India, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia has not reacted well to this decision.

My view is that the governing body should make and enforce the rules while the teams either comply or choose to walk away from the sport. Two teams particularly should feel aggrieved; Caterham and Marussia (formerly Lotus and Virgin) who were lured into the sport in 2010 under the guise of a cost capped sport, which never materialized. Two other teams Hispania (HRT) went bust at the end of their third season and USF1 ran out of money before making it to the grid in Melbourne 2010.

I think that F1 needs a budget cap and a fairer revenue sharing system which benefits all teams and not just the top teams. The two remaining new teams, now in their fifth season are still nowhere near scoring points; which is largely due to a lack of budget. Caterham and Marussia simply don’t have the development budget to move up the grid, they are doomed to be be perennial also-rans. You also have to look further up the grid to Lotus who had to take pay driver, Pastor Maldonado just to stay on the grid in 2014 and are nowhere near the front where they were during 2013!

According to Autosport (subs only); there’s a £199m difference between lowest budgeted Marussia and top budgeted Ferrari during the 2013 season, which is a massive gulf between just 11 teams.

For those that are not subscribers, here’s the reported 2013 F1 Budgets

Red Bull
Force India
Toro Rosso
£250 million
£235.5 million
£160 million
£160 million
£130 million
£100 million
£90 million
£90 million
£70 million
£65 million
£51 million

A number of drivers are reported to be considering strike action because of unpaid wages; with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg claiming that the unpaid wages are due to lack of funds within the teams and not a willful act to not pay the drivers, “The sport is too expensive” the German commented.

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