F1 capital expenditure allowance puts stability at risk

Williams team principal James Vowles has led the quest for extra leeway on investment spending within the cost cap restrictions in order to allow the Grove outfit to update its outdated factory infrastructure.

Other teams that have specific investment projects on hold also want an extra allowance, but are willing to accept a smaller headline number than Williams.

An option that would allow the FIA to consider such requests on a case-by-case basis, rather than giving all the teams the same extra allowance, has also been discussed.

None of the options were agreed at last week’s meeting of the F1 Commission, where it’s understood both the FIA and F1 voted against a blanket increase for all teams on the basis that it would merely maintain the status quo.

Vasseur says that if an allowance is approved, teams will constantly be asking for more leeway.

“On CapEx, it’s a bit different my point of view, but my point of view is that we have a regulation,” said Vasseur when asked by Motorsport.com’s for Ferrari’s take on the subject.

“We’ve changed many times the regulations. And for me, the good shape of F1 today is due to stability.

“If you start to change the regulation each week because someone has an issue, or wants to invest somewhere, it’s the end of the stability. And it’s a non-end process.

“Because today it’s Williams who want to have a new ERP [enterprise resource planning] system. Tomorrow, it will be another one who wants to buy new trucks, or someone would like to have the last version of the simulator.

“It’s a non-end discussion, and we have to remember that the cost cap was the biggest step forward for F1 in terms of stability, convergence of performance, profitability of the teams and so on.

“It means that either we go in this direction, and I’m fully supportive, or it’s the end of the cost cap.”

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Erik Junius

Vasseur also made it clear that Ferrari is not keen to back Renault’s attempt to get a break on power unit performance development as step towards equalisation. This was another matter discussed, without a resolution, at the F1 Commission.

“It’s true that when we decided to freeze the engine that we considered that in exceptional circumstances we could try to find a way to support the guys who would be completely out of the range,” he said.

“But I’m not sure that Renault is so far away that we don’t have the same numbers as Renault. It’s the first time that my engineers are pessimistic compared to the other ones!

“And if we have to do something, it can’t be a fuel flow. We have the same approach with the wind tunnel allocation, that the guy who is P10 has more time in the wind tunnel, it’s not that he has 10 kilos less.

“You allow the team or the PU manufacturer to develop. And you don’t give him an advantage, it will be the start of the balance of performance.”

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This motor sports news item came from: https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/f1-ferrari-capital-expenditure-allowance-process-vasseur/10503782/

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