FIA president Jean Todt has said that Formula 1 will have to start anew if a sensible cost cap is to be introduced in order to protect teams from going out of business during the coronavirus pandemic.
The regulations that were set to be introduced for the 2021 season included a $175 million cost cap but, while it looks as though a figure of $150m could be agreed upon along with a development freeze on the 2020 cars, Todt has warned that the sport may need to go significantly further to protect teams from themselves.
"It is part of this world, but people in our little world have lost their feet," Todt told Auto Motor und Sport. "We're talking about budget capping.
"If we were to agree on a cost cap of $150 million, which would be a big step to the current status, the small teams would spend $150m. The big ones with all the exceptions come over $300m without the engine development. That's crazy.
"We can only come up with a reasonable number if we forget today's Formula 1 and start with a white sheet of paper. With a cost cap of $50 million without exceptions, nothing would be the way it was.
"It would be a completely new Formula 1. A Super Formula 2.
"Just as Formula 1 is structured at the moment, a new start is not possible. We would lose too many teams, including the big ones."
Current exceptions to the spending limits include the drivers salaries, the salaries of the three other highest paid members of team personnel and all non-performance related activities, including marketing and travel.
The development of power units, a task only undertaken by Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda - the latter not running as a constructor in the championship - is also exempt from this cap.
Todt continued by revealing that he would like to see the budget cap gradually reduced, but he accepts that reducing the exceptions to the budget cap is not a likely prospect, meaning that bigger teams would still be able to exert their spending power over the smaller customer teams.
"Taking out the extras is not possible at the moment," said Todt. "So we keep the status quo, only with a lower lid. Without this crisis, there would have been 175 million. We are now talking about a restart after the crisis.
"If it is explained as the manufacturers have explained to us, it would be an argument to be considered. Some develop, design and produce a product that other teams buy.
"I understand this position, but I don't believe in miracles. The differences between small and large must be reduced, but we must not start dreaming. It will never be the case that a small team can regularly compete against a large team at eye level.
"We can't lie to ourselves. When we talk about $ 120, 130, or $ 140 million, it's the cost cap without exception. For the large teams, the exceptions account for more than 100 percent of the cost cap. Now, with a reduction in the budget cover, they have even expressed the wish to expand the exceptions. But I'm against it."
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