Talks are already underway over the potential introduction of an F1 driver salary cap, as confirmed to RacingNews365.com by Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto.
Upon the introduction of Formula 1's spending restrictions in 2021, it was decided that only expenditure relating to car performance would be capped. Driver salaries expenditure, meanwhile, was deemed not to relate to car performance and thus fell outside of the cost cap rules.
Equally, the top three salaries paid to team personnel were also excluded, so superstar designers or strategists could still make a difference.
But change could be coming, with Binotto revealing that teams now "understand the importance" of capping overall expenditure, not just that related to car performance.
Verstappen's manager brands salary cap "total idiocy"
With talk of a driver salary cap growing, Raymond Vermeulen (Max Verstappen's manager) has branded the idea as "total idiocy", as he disregarded the proposition when in conversation with Dutch outlet De Telegraaf.
"Drivers have a value-enhancing effect on teams," Vermeulen explained.
"It would turn the world upside down to impose a financial constraint on the driver, while the added value of the driver for the team can be exploited indefinitely."
His comments come after Verstappen put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with Red Bull Racing that will keep him with the team until at least the end of the 2028 season.
How a salary cap would affect contracts such as Verstappen's – which have already been signed – remains to be seen.
What the other drivers think
During the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, RacingNews365.com put the question of a potential salary cap to multiple drivers, with many unaware that talks were even taking place.
"I hope not," Valtteri Bottas joked.
"I'm not a big fan of that idea. The drivers still have to get something from it. Maybe they can reduce the Team Principal salaries.
"We'll see. If it is fair for both Team Principals and drivers, then it's okay."
Sebastian Vettel then responded: "I don't know who brought it up and what is their intention. I don't know if it will ever come or not. Maybe the teams want to make more money?"
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Alonso stands against the driver salary cap
But Fernando Alonso issued the strongest response on the matter, as he added: "I don't think that's needed. Drivers have always been excluded from this topic.
"The drivers, they are using us more and more to promote Formula 1. We do more and more events, we're more in contact with the fans, the paddock. They're asking more and more from us and they benefit from that. We should be outside of this cap."
Alonso went on to admit that the question of whether a driver can be classed as a performance differentiator is "very complicated".
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