While F1 has introduced a budget cap in recent years to limit the amount of money teams can spend, Alex Wurz says there are no such plans to do likewise with drivers’ salaries.
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Grand Prix Drivers Association chairman Alex Wurz says there are currently no plans to implement a cap on drivers’ salaries.
In an effort to reduce costs associated with Formula 1, the sport introduced its first ever set of financial regulations in 2020, limiting teams to spending $145 per season from 2021, with that figure decreasing by a further $5 million over the following two years.
However, the budget cap does not include drivers’ salaries, and with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen thought to be earning in the region of $40 million per year, F1 has discussed incorporating a driver salary allowance in the budget cap at some future point.
Speaking exclusively to RacingNews365.com, Wurz said there were currently no concrete plans to impose limits on drivers’ salaries.
“There was one meeting where the GPDA made it very clear what they thought,” said Wurz, who drove in 69 Grands Prix between 1997 and 2007.
“Why vote against our self-interest? We said we wanted to see who ultimately benefits from this and what the consequences are for the wider sport. That needs to be researched first.
“After that we can ask: can that become a rule, and should the FIA consider it?
“Is it actually possible because it is from a commercial point of view? We can also ask whether it cannot simply be an agreement between the teams themselves.
“I do not know the latest news and the current intention. It is up to the FIA or the teams that make an agreement among themselves.”
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Speaking in response to a question from RacingNews365.com at the Monaco Grand Prix, several team principals raised doubts over the application and practicality of a drivers’ salary cap.
“It will not be in the short term, the reason for that is we already have contracts in place, and we cannot simply breach them,” said Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto.
“There are legal implications, certainly to understand how to do that, so it’s a discussion.”
In response to the same question, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner noted that there were several aspects of the existing cost cap that needed to be clarified before a drivers’ cap could be introduced.
“The principle of a cap is well merited, [but] I think the application of it is tricky,” said Horner.
“There’s an awful lot of things that need tidying up within the existing cap that we have, that’s being rolled out to being an engine cap as well.
“Personally, I think too much weight and pressure is being placed on the cap at the moment. I think you’ve got to look at where your cost drivers are.
“[F1] needs to do a better job at looking at technical and sporting regulations, because we’re still designing and manufacturing very expensive cars.”
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