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Alfa Romeo Racing

Alfa Romeo boss tells rivals to 'switch off wind tunnels' amid budget cap complaints

Fred Vasseur believes that the existing budget cap is still achievable, and that calls to increase it should be dismissed.

Zhou Spain
Article
To news overview © XPB

Alfa Romeo Team Principal Fred Vasseur is unsympathetic over calls from some of his rivals to increase the budget cap.

The financial regulation – introduced with the aim of levelling the competition in F1 – currently stands at $140 million.

Some of the sport's leading teams, such as Red Bull and Mercedes, believe that this season's cap should be revised due to inflation and rising costs.

However, Vasseur thinks that it is still early enough in the season to control costs, adding that Alfa Romeo would be in a similar cost limit regardless of the official cost cap.

"The difference is that we [Alfa Romeo] are not speaking about budget caps, we are speaking about budgets," Vasseur told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"It means that I won't be able to overspend what I have. I can understand their situation, but if we have some increase on energy or freight [costs], the best solution is to switch off the wind tunnel to stop bringing updates every single weekend.

"We are in this situation and, sooner or later, we will have to stop the development of the car because we will be at the limit of our budget, and I think everybody can do the same."

Vasseur: Inflation no grounds for force majeure

The F1 cost cap was introduced in 2021, and started at $145m. The cap is currently $140m, and is set to reduce further to $135m in 2023.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner was vocal about his desire to see the cost cap raised due to inflation and rising freight costs.

His opinions have been echoed by other teams, such as Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin, but have been rejected by 'lower budget' teams like Alfa Romeo and Alpine.

When asked if increasing the cost cap under a 'force majeure' ruling would be acceptable from the FIA, Vasseur said that inflation should have already been a factor in the team's budget calculations.

"It's absolutely not a case of force majeure, because inflation is not a case of force majeure," added Vasseur.

"We knew perfectly in November or October when we did the budget that we will have inflation, and now it's up to the teams to decide if they want to develop the car throughout all of the season and to miss events, or if they want to slow down now and to do the full season.

"Honestly, I think that we have to agree on the fact that we won't try to change the rule."

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