Guenther Steiner is concerned that any increase in the Formula One budget cap this year will assist the top teams at the expense of smaller teams such as Haas.
Inflation has driven up prices for the ten constructors, putting them under pressure to stay inside the sport’s $140 million budget limit for the 2022 season.
“I suppose the only thing we can do, as F1, is increase the budget ceiling for inflation,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto stated, with that sum set to drop by $5 million for the second year in a row in 2023. I don’t think we’ll be able to simply stay below. I’m confident we’ll go over at some point.”
However, Haas team principal Steiner believes that any increase would be utilised by the leading teams to try to make their cars faster rather than offset the higher costs of simply participating.
“The three top teams are pushing for an extra budget and assuming this proposal is somehow accepted, what would it lead to,” pondered Steiner during an interview with Motorsport.com.
“Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari would bring one or two extra updates to the track, which would eventually cancel each other out, and the only result would be to widen the gap to the rest of the teams.
“This was not the idea behind the budget cap when it was proposed and voted on. We, as a company, are also obliged to make savings, we have a budget we cannot exceed, and if costs increase on the one hand we have to make savings on other fronts.
“I think it works that way in all companies. If a managing director is not able to cope and solve such a situation, he is fired.”
However, there is one area where Steiner sees some leeway, and that is the growing expense of freight transportation — because it is a relatively easy sector to police.
“This is a problem that can be addressed, I see no downside,” said the Italian.
“The costs have risen a lot but in the case of transport the advantage is that Formula One Management manages everything, so they are well aware of the extent of the increases that have happened in recent months.
“I don’t see any problem in giving extra budget on that front, a figure equivalent to the difference between the figure budgeted at the beginning of the year and the real cost we are facing.
“If expenses then fall in 2023, this extra will be removed or reduced as costs fall.”