The FIA – the governing body for F1 – has announced that the teams’ cost cap of $140 million has been raised by 3.1 per cent, after the bigger teams complained about the effect soaring inflation is having on their budgets.
The cost cap was introduced last season as a way of making the grid more competitive, with the richer teams (Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, we’re looking at you) unable to outspend the rest of the field to the extent that they have done in recent years.
However, the largest teams have been complaining for weeks that economic pressures meant they’d be in danger of breaching the original limit, with some suggesting they’d have to lay off staff or even miss races at the end of the year to avoid breaking F1’s rules.
Last week Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who has publicly opposed his rivals’ calls to increase spending, told TG: “I can understand it from their side, what have they got to lose? The FIA, if they say ‘no’, they’re in the same place. So they might as well try. But I’m a big fan of not changing the rules in the middle of the season, because inevitably it will be inequitable for somebody. You change the playing field, and it’s just not healthy.
Fast forward a week, and the FIA has in fact said ‘yes’. In a statement, it said rapidly increasing costs were creating ‘a risk of noncompliance’ with the financial regulations, and it claimed this new plan has been supported by nine of the ten teams.
It also announced that a technical directive to control porpoising – the aerodynamic effect that’s plagued several teams this year – will now come into effect at the Belgian Grand Prix, after some teams objected to the original plan to bring it into force at the French Grand Prix later this month.
Meanwhile the new engine rules for 2026 are thought to be close to being finalised, after which Porsche and Audi are expected to announce their long-awaited entries into F1.