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Domenicali: Cost cap forces F1 teams into 'different cultural frame'

F1 chief Stefano Domenicali was speaking on a recent Liberty Media investment call, where he was asked about the cost cap and its impact.

Stefano Domenicali has hailed the cost cap for forcing Formula 1 teams to adopt "different cultural minds" about how they go racing. Introduced in 2021, the budget cap limits the amount of money each team can spend in a calendar year on their racing programme, with a $135 million limit in place for 2023, although there have been rises from this due to extra races, more Sprint events and due to the effects of global inflation. It was brought in to reduce the spending power of the bigger teams who could spend as much as needed to be in a winning position, while some of the smaller outfits could not compete with such firepower, with the cap's intention of closing the field up over time. Speaking at a recent Liberty Media investor call, F1 CEO Domenicali highlighted the shift in mindset the cap has brought about.

Domenicali praises cost cap

"First of all, I think what has been done has been phenomenal for the sport, and it [should not be taken] for granted that it has been a success," Domenicali explained. "We added the financial [rules], made it the most complicated one in terms of policing because the physicality is different from country to country, the complexity of the details of teams that are part of a manufacturer – and then there are other entities that are building up to create some resources for the team. "So the complexity is for sure something the FIA has to be very strong [about], and building up a team that is really very good in managing the control. "But I think what has been done is one of the pillars enabling the system to be so strong is that it puts the teams in a different cultural frame, because now they need to think differently, how to manage the development of the year. "We're talking about Sprint [races], that could be another factor. You can have more accidents or crashes and so. It is part of the game. "So they need to control in a different way that's better for the unpredictability of the sport."

'Difficult' to bring about change

Domenicali, who took over from Chase Carey as F1 CEO in time for the 2021 season, also explained the mindset shift that has happened for some "old" people in the championship in getting accustomed to the nature of the cost cap. "[It's] something that has been very difficult to put into the hands of the old people who have been in Formula 1 since the beginning," he added. "But I think it is crucial in the intermediate term to have it because that will enable us to [have] more competition on the track."

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