F1 driver salaries could skyrocket under 2021 rules
Driver salaries are among the items excluded from $175 million budget cap
Formula 1 drivers are unhappy that the weight of the cars will increase yet again in 2021, while the teams are concerned that the aerodynamic rules are too restrictive.
Drivers, however, will be the big winners on at least one front: negotiating salaries.
“When the cars get more alike, the drivers will be the most important factor again,” Red Bull Racing consultant Helmut Marko said. “Drivers like (Lewis) Hamilton, (Max) Verstappen and (Charles) Leclerc will benefit. If they disagree, they can blackmail the teams and it can quickly cost you $50 million.”
“It was a mistake to not put the driver salaries into the budget cap.”
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown agrees: “It was a mistake to take the drivers out. Along with the car, they are a factor that determines the lap time. If they were part of the budget, the teams would have to decide to invest their money in the driver or the car.
“That’s the point of a budget cap. The prize is for the one who uses their money the most sensibly.”
Driver salaries are not the only things excluded from the $175 million cap.
Forbes reports that engine development, marketing, travel costs, non-F1 activities, and a list of other exemptions are also not included in the cap.