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Adrian Newey

Exclusive: Newey identifies 'hidden' F1 problem: 'We're no longer the best'

Adrian Newey has spoken exclusively to RacingNews365.

Newey Bahrain
Interview
To news overview © XPBimages

Adrian Newey has criticised an unintended consequence of Formula 1's cost cap in an exclusive RacingNews365 interview.

In a bid to keep costs under control and to level the playing field between the 10 teams, a budget limit was imposed for the 2021 season, with $145 million USD available to spend by each team.

There are exceptions to the limit such as marketing costs and the three-highest earners in a team and it is adjusted accordingly each year with inflation and by other outside influences, such as global energy costs.

In order to scale down to the cost cap, bigger teams like Mercedes and Newey's Red Bull where is he Chief Technical Officer, had to make some staff redundant or transfer away from the F1 programme - with the FIA issuing TD45 to prevent F1 teams from benefiting from work done by their applied engineering division in a loophole.

The hopes of an increased level-playing field between teams has not happened as intended as Newey and his design team have created cars that have won 41 of the 48 ground effects races since the new technical regulations were introduced at the start of 2022.

However, the long-serving CTO feels that the cost cap has had a detrimental effect on F1 itself.

Newey on cost cap

"I think the hidden danger of the cost cap, which none of us probably really thought about when it first came in, is that Formula 1 used to be the best paid engineering discipline in the world," Newey exclusively told RacingNews365.

"Therefore, we would be able to hire and attract from universities, the brightest young graduates, and now with the cost cap, with the amount of inflation and the cost cap not rising with inflation, that is no longer the case.

"At the same time, it is a double-edged sword as we also have start-up tech companies offering very high salaries and so now when we go to the universities, trying to attract graduates, we're no longer the best.

"Equally with our existing staff, we are losing people to tech companies and that is a real problem because it makes it difficult for us, as an industry, and not just our team, to attract the best engineers in the world.

"We are then trying to attract them on the basis of passion rather than purely because of the best salaries."

For now, no major changes are in the immediate pipeline to the structure of the cost cap, although the teams and the FIA do remain in contact and in discussions.

It must be said that the stability offered by the cap has allowed the value of teams to skyrocket and put most on a pathway to profitability.

For other articles from RacingNews365's exclusive interview with Adrian Newey, check the links below!

Interviews RN365 News dossier

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