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Toto Wolff has sided with Christian Horner and hit out at F1’s smaller teams over their opposition to increasing F1’s budget cap for this season. The Mercedes team principal has claimed some of the smaller teams on the grid are ‘stubborn’ and stressed an increase to costs would not ‘screw’ them.
It comes after a divide has emerged in F1 with bigger teams who employ more staff desperate for a rise to F1’s £115million ($140m) budget cap. However, teams in the midfield and towards the back of the field have stressed the cap should not be changed to allow them to compete fairly.
Wolff said: “It’s not that we want to generate more profit, it’s literally allowing people to have their salaries compensated for the extraordinary inflation they are suffering from. So, it’s not that we suddenly want to have more, but let’s stick to the fact when we entered the year and the premises that we ended the year and then let’s look at the numbers now. And then hopefully we can find a way to adjust.
“I think the worst for the sport is having a stubborn position that some of the smaller teams think that the big ones are trying to gain an advantage and we’re actually going to screw them by not allowing them to do this and us on the other side seeking to lift the ceiling, which we don’t want to do.”
READ MORE: Guenther Steiner hits out at Christian Horner and Red Bull over budget
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has called for the FIA to ‘address the issue’ as costs continue to soar. He claimed costs were ‘growing exponentially’ with freight charges quadrupled and warned several teams could be forced to miss races this season.
Horner said: “ Probably about seven of the teams probably need to miss the last four races to come within the cap this year, from the consensus that there has been up and down the paddock. It’s not just about the big teams now, it’s teams in the middle of the field that are really struggling with the inflationary rate that we’re seeing that could even get worse in the second half of the year.
“I think the FIA have a duty of care in a situation like this.” However, Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer said the increase in costs ‘wasn’t a surprise’ and were still operating under the budget cap.
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He insisted the team would not be in favour of any boosts to the cap as his team had set their budgets early. Haas boss Guenther Steiner also called out the big three teams, claiming extra money would only increase the gap between teams on the grid.
He told Motorsport.com: “The three top teams are pushing for an extra budget and assuming this proposal is somehow accepted, what would it lead to.
“Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari would bring one or two extra updates to the track, which would eventually cancel each other out, and the only result would be to widen the gap to the rest of the teams. This was not the idea behind the budget cap when it was proposed and voted on.”
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