Ferrari wants F1's "soft landing" for budget cap extended during COVID pandemic

Written by

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto wants an extension of the “soft landing” that gives Formula 1 teams more time to adjust to the budget cap.

When the new financial regulations come into play in 2021, teams will be restricted to a spend of $145m and the biggest teams, including Ferrari, will need to downsize or redeploy staff.

Ferrari has the option of moving people to its road car division, while both Mercedes and Red Bull have been creating projects that allow them to use F1 staff in other areas.

Earlier this year it was agreed to give those teams an extra six months to adjust, but Binotto says it’s not enough.

Ferrari’s position is complicated by an Italian government decree that mandates a freeze on lay-offs during the pandemic.

“I think the question is a good one,” said Binotto. “[It is] very important at that stage [that] the soft landing has been decided, approved with all the teams, F1, FIA at the time, knowing that with the COVID situation, the fact that it has been very difficult to dismiss people, to lay-off people in that period.

“Knowing that as well in terms of message, it would be completely wrong, I think, to lay-off people when we are in the COVID pandemic situation.

“And I think the fact that the pandemic is not finished and we are still have an emergency matter, the mechanism of the six months eventually needs to be reviewed, and eventually we should try to postpone that mechanism, by the end of the year.”

Binotto confirmed that he is lobbying the FIA on the matter.

“I think that as social responsibility, it would be very bad to dismiss people during the COVID, and knowing that we need to do it very soon, we don’t believe that would be the right approach.

“So it’s something on which I’m very keen, and I would like and I will discuss with the FIA to understand, and with the other teams [to see if] there is any possibility to accommodate what is still an emergency situation?

“That’s on one side. On the other side, as we’ve said, how are we organising ourselves. Obviously we were trying to restructure our team. We are trying to reallocate people on the road cars because we are still a very big company.

“These are some opportunities we’ve got. But it’s a difficult exercise on which we have started. The solution is not obvious.”

Autosport has produced a standalone special magazine to celebrate our 70th birthday. All current print subscribers will receive a copy for free. To order your copy of the 196-page Autosport 70th Anniversary issue, please go to: autosport.com/autosport70th

Article Categories:
Formula 1