Christian Horner warns budget cap action needed to avoid potential court settling of championship

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has warned that action needs to be taken over the current budget cap in the sport for fear this year’s championship might end up getting decided in the courtroom.

The budget cap was introduced into Formula 1 to put a limit on how much teams can spend, with the idea being that it should eventually allow for a more even playing field between the teams with bigger budgets and those with smaller budgets, allowing for the chance for those with the latter to potentially compete up near the front.

Indeed, it is a sound idea in principle but with wider market factors like inflation and energy prices going through the roof, even the mega-bucks Formula 1 teams are feeling a bit of a squeeze.

Of course, you won’t catch them asking for sympathy given the situation some now find themselves in but Horner has raised the point that certain external factors that few would have predicted when designing the cap are now viable cause for a rethink at least for the time being:

“The way you design your car is within your control,” said Horner to Sky Sports.

“That is something that you, together with your group of designers, you create. You’re in control of your own destiny.

“What we’re seeing in the world at the moment, we’re not in control of the inflationary costs that are affecting households around the world. In the UK, we’re seeing predicted inflation at 11%.

“That’s a direct effect on staff, on raw materials, on electricity, on commodities, on supplied parts. I think it genuinely is a force majeure situation that the FIA need to deal with.

“There’s probably about 50% of the teams who are going to breach the cap at the end of the year if it continues the way things are. Probably even more.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 21: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner looks on from the pitwall during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 21, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“We don’t want a championship decided in law courts, or in Paris in front of the FIA.

“We’ve got six months of the year to address this, we need to act now.

“I think the top teams would have to get rid of circa two, three hundred people each, to get anywhere near addressing it. Is that right?

“The problem is if the cost cap fails badly, it’ll be gone forever.

“We need to find a solution to this issue. Nobody could have predicted this. We lowered the cost cap by $35m during the pandemic, and nobody could have predicted the issues that we’ve got.”

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