Christian Horner warns F1 teams may have to miss races over budget cap

Red Bull boss Christian Horner warns as many as seven teams may have to ABANDON races this season to stay inside £111m budget cap… as he calls on the FIA to show a ‘duty of care’ by increasing it to offset inflation costs

  • Formula One introduced a budget cap in 2021 to try and level out the race field
  • Red Bull boss Christian Horner has called on the FIA to increase the current cap
  • F1’s freight – transporting cars and materials around the world – has quadrupled
  • Horner feels that as many as seven teams could miss races to meet the 2022 cap 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has warned that as many as seven teams could be forced to miss races this season if Formula One does not increase its budget cap. 

Horner’s doomsday prediction comes amid escalating costs due to inflation and he is urging the governing FIA to show a ‘duty of care’ by showing flexibility with a cap increase.

The sport’s annual budget cap was brought in in 2021, at £115m, and has fallen to £111m for this season.

Christian Horner has been vocal about his issues with the size of Formula One’s budget cap

All 10 teams are not permitted to go and spend more than £111million across the 2022 season

But across this 22-race season, Horner has warned the current economic climate means abstaining from certain races may be the only way for some teams to fall inside that cap for the remainder of the 2022 campaign. 

‘Seven of the teams would probably need to miss the last four races to come within the cap this year,’ he said, as per BBC Sport.

‘It’s not just about the big teams. It’s teams in the middle of the field who are really struggling with inflationary issues. The FIA has a duty of care. I know they are taking it seriously.

‘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.’

F1 managing director Ross Brawn spoke last month about a ‘solution’ to the cap being found

Horner has consistently called for a review of the current cap, detailing in April that increased costs for F1’s freight – transporting cars and machinery across the globe for races – is stretching finances. 

Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren are all reportedly behind Horner’s call to see the cap increased. 

An increased cap would, naturally, favour the big-spending leaders and reports have detailed that there are concerns a cap increase would only stretch the gap between the leaders and the rest of the field. 

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer added: ‘We’ve set our budgets early, we kind of anticipated a little bit of the inflation. 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.’

Red Bull, who currently stand top of the constructors’ championship table, have 16 more races to navigate to dethrone Mercedes for that trophy.

Last month, F1’s managing director, Ross Brawn, revealed that a solution is forthcoming on the row over the budget cap.

Red Bull did have other reason for cheers in Spain, however, as Max Verstappen finished first

‘I think the inflationary increase needs to be reviewed,’ Brawn said, as per ‘Because when these rules were developed, inflation was relatively low and predictable, and now it’s high and unpredictable.

‘And if you look at the inflation rates that apply to industrial enterprises, like an F1 team, you’ve got power, you’ve got raw materials, you got all the things which are proving to be quite expensive at the moment. So I think there’s a solution coming on that.’

Horner did have plenty of reason to cheer over the weekend, however, as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished one-two at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Power issues for Ferrari frontrunner Charles Leclerc opened the door for Red Bull to lockout the front row as they took control in both championships.  

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