The Formula 1 budget cap has "absolutely hit the target" in limiting top teams from spending their way out of trouble according to Mercedes' Toto Wolff. Teams now operate under a cap on the amount they can spend throughout the season, including research and development of new parts in order to make F1 a sustainable business for the 10 outfits. Although the cap was set at $140 million USD (as teams are paid in US dollars), it has risen slightly by 3.1 per cent to combat the global rising inflation for the 2022 season. While some teams were already operating at this mark, squads like Wolff's Mercedes have had to cut their budget to ensure they comply with the financial regulations. And given Mercedes' struggles in 2022, Wolff admits the new rules are working as intended.
Budget cap hit the target - Wolff
As well as suffering from wild performance swings with the W13, Mercedes is also overweight with the car - with the team unable to shed it due to the limits of the cap. "Let's look at the look at the chassis, we wouldn't be able to introduce to introduce a [new] chassis," explained Wolff to media including RacingNews365.com. "We are massively overweight, which we haven't been really able to dine out because we are trying parts on the car in order to solve our various various issues. "We can't afford that, full stop." "So what was aimed by introducing the cost cap absolutely hit the target. "It is what they [the FIA] wanted: to achieve that the big teams (such as Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes) can't just throw money at it."
'You could a book about this year'
Despite winning 15 of the last 16 F1 championships, Mercedes have failed badly to get on top of the W13 - and were heavily affected by porpoising earlier in the campaign. The team often underperforms in qualifying before achieving respectable results in the race - with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell only retiring once each this season - due to accident damage on both occasions. "Well, today, we're getting it wrong, you know, the non-correlation in the various areas is causing us to not be performing,"said Wolff. "Now, maybe there is a single thing that overshadows everything and therefore we're not doing it justice to question really every part of the car. "Are the the [new 18-inch] tyres something that we fundamentally don't understand and actually all the rest is good or is the aero[dynamics] messing it up or the mechanical balance? "I think that is so difficult to dissect and as to say: 'you never lose, you learn', I can tell you it is f***ing difficult when you see all the nice Instagram posts, and everything we've talked about over eight years: 'how are we going to take this?' - [Mercedes not winning]. "When you arrive there in the dungeon, you stick to your principles and your values, keep the spirit up and really continue to relentlessly seek to get better. "There's more to write a book about this year than the last eight years."