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Wolff - Budget cap "extremely painful" challenge for Mercedes

Wolff - Budget cap "extremely painful" challenge for Mercedes

F1 News

Wolff - Budget cap "extremely painful" challenge for Mercedes

Wolff - Budget cap "extremely painful" challenge for Mercedes
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has outlined the "extremely painful" challenge for the team to meet the budget cap restrictions.

A cost cap was introduced into F1 last year and initially set at $145 million as the sport aims to level the playing field between the 10 teams.

But as F1 enters a new era of competition and the teams attempt to get to grips with new machinery, the budget allowance has decreased by $5m.

Mercedes, with all its might as a top manufacturer, was one of the teams to struggle to meet the restrictions when implemented last year, forcing it to make staff cuts.

Asked about the challenge of meeting the reduced figure, Wolff explained: "It has been very, very difficult to structure the company and the organisation in the right way to meet the cost cap at $140m.

"Also in a high-inflation environment, and we are reducing by five million, we have a situation where you are not able to increase the costs and the payroll. That is extremely painful.

"On the other side, you have to decide very carefully where you invest your dollars in R&D.

"In the past, it was a little bit easier because you could follow various avenues chasing performance.

"Today you have to decide which one has the highest potential and then embark on it so it's a totally different way of operating for the big teams."

Mercedes changes restrained by budget cap

With the new era of aerodynamic concepts for F1 cars, teams are expected to find differing solutions at the beginning of the developmental cycle before converging towards an optimal design.

Detailing the strain on the potential scope for making a wrong turn developmentally, Wolff said: "It's one side whether you can really change concepts technically. Sometimes when you embark on a direction, that's it.

"And then the added pressure of the cost cap makes it very difficult to then change the car fundamentally because everything is planned, every upgrade and their related costs are planned.

"Therefore, we are much more restricted with the budget cap in our ability to implement creative processes onto the car."

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