Formula 1’s current financial structure is “terribly flawed” and undermines its sporting credibility, according to Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.
While she insists there is no desire for complete equality among the teams, Kaltenborn believes the sport risks being defined completely by budgets, with the bigger teams able to spend their way out of trouble and thereby render smaller teams’ efforts futile.
She feels that dynamic ruins both the spectacle and the values of the sport, and says fundamental changes need to be made as a result.
The FIA announced on Monday that a budget cap will be introduced for 2015, although details of how it will be policed and enforced have not been confirmed.
“There is something terribly flawed in the system,” Kaltenborn said when asked about the costs of competing in F1. “For me, it starts with what the system and the sport is about — and it is about different teams, not the big teams and the big budgets. We don’t have a level playing field, and it starts there.
“We are not for having equality everywhere, not at all. This is a competition and the best win. But if the best are simply defined by the financial resources, then something is not right because it not about finance, it is about sport.
“If you can set some parameters on the financial side, you will still have the teams with the better engineers making the best car with the best drivers having the best results, but at least it puts teams in a position where they can still fight for something and make it more interesting.
“That is where the problem lies — that the big teams can afford to do things, regardless of whether they are good or bad, and get more out of the sport than the others can. That cannot be right.”
BUDGET CAP BEST OPTION
Kaltenborn said the only option was to reduce costs, and said a budget cap was the best solution available.
“You have to reduce costs,” she added. “When it comes to income, we are already at a tremendously high level and will soon reach a point where we cannot increase it any more. So we have to bring the costs down, to make the sport healthy and establish the sport in countries where, like we have seen, after two or three years we don’t have any fans.
“For me, the most important thing is to have a budget cap. That allows every team to pursue the strategy they have. But it is not just deciding on a figure, it is how you police it.”