Toto Wolff says that Formula 1 needs to police spending, and satellite teams such as Haas will become the norm
“On cost caps, they need to come,” says Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff.
Although the Brackley-based team spent more than £300 million in 2017 to secure the drivers’ and constructors’ championships, Wolff says the time has come to have a closer look at spending by top teams.
“At the moment, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes are outspending each other and we need to contain that – with a reasonably policed cost cap that allows us to reorganise our structures but not restructure.”
Of course, Wolff doesn’t want a sudden drop in spending…
“We need to have a sensible glide path that allows us, over the next five years, to get to a lower point,” he explains.
With Haas competing against Renault for ‘Class B’ victory, Wolff says that satellite teams will become the norm in F1.
“The Haas model [of close collaboration with Ferrari] is what created the whole opportunity for the small teams, because some of the teams that have been here for a long time have recognised that a team [starting] from scratch just three years ago is outperforming them.
“[Collaboration] should only happen if it’s a win-win and is beneficial for F1. From where I stand, it’s heading in that direction.”
But Wolff says that the FIA must tighten its rules on teams such as Haas working too closely with Ferrari. There’s no hint that Haas is breaking any rules, however.
“If there is a financial advantage because of the economies of scale between the two teams, I think it should be allowed,” he says.
“If it becomes a must that, as a big team you need a small team in order to collaborate and share resources, and as a small team it becomes a requirement to be collaborating with a big team so as not to be at the back, then it should not be the case.
“What’s allowed and what’s not needs to be written down. What Haas is doing is working to the rules as they are written.”