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Sauber fears effects of potential cost cap on F1's image


Sauber's Fred Vasseur says F1 would benefit from cost cutting measures, but the Frenchman is also wary of the ill-effects of such an approach on the sport's image.

Reining in costs in F1, especially where big teams are concerned, is seen as instrumental to creating a level playing field among competitors.

While theoretically in favour of curbing spending, a measure which would greatly benefit his team, Vasseur questions however the method by which costs would be limited and is concerned spending would become the main talking point around F1.

"If we have the same money as the top teams we will close the gap," Vasseur told Motorsport.com.

"But I don't know if we have to do that by regulations – like with some standard parts. Then the biggest teams will be able to spend the same as now, but only for marginal gains.

"We could go with financial monitoring, but I am a bit scared about this.

"On paper it could work but then you have to see how we are able to monitor it during the season to avoid being in a situation that we have in the news or on websites that Ferrari or Mercedes spent 10 Euros more than is allowed.

"Something like that, for the show and the image of F1, would be a worst case scenario, because at this stage – for the fans – the bad side of F1 is that it has become a matter of budgets. And if all together we are only talking about budgets, it would be a nightmare."

Vasseur believes cost control is ultimately necessary, but suggests the attention should center around the big teams' investment.

"If you want to have a cost cap at $150 million, then it will not affect Force India, it will not affect us, and it will not affect a majority of the teams," says the Sauber boss.

"If you exclude the drivers and marketing, it will be just for the top three teams.

"The best way would be to do it through regulation: limiting the necessary budget to be performant through regulation.

"Mercedes will always be able to spend much more than us, which is fine. But at least you have to give the opportunity for the small teams to be in a position to fight for podiums.

"If you want a good teaser at the start of the race, then it is that [Esteban] Ocon or [Sergio] Perez could be on a podium at every race if they do a good job.

"At the moment you have two Mercedes, two Ferraris and two Red Bulls, and that is a bit boring."

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