“They should be rewarded for what they do bring to it”- Lewis Hamilton opposes salary cap with the current form of image rights of drivers.
Lewis Hamilton was asked about Franz Tost’s suggestions to make a salary cap of $10 million, initially, Hamilton perplexed over the identity of the person was later informed that it was Alpha Tauri’s team principal who said it.
After a brief head-scratching, Hamilton came back to the topic and told that he is not against salary caps if done on the right way and the present settings could violate a driver’s economical position dramatically.
“I think currently the salary cap is supposed to be implemented probably when I’m not even here,” he said. Hamilton further cited the economical structure of American sports where all players own their individual rights making salary caps easier to implement.
“I do think that the drivers here are, naturally, the stars of the sport,” said Hamilton. “They’re the ones that are seen, those are the ones that bring their brands and their reputation helps elevate the sport and help it travel globally around the world.”
“There have been salary caps in some of those [other] sports, I think like in NFL, basketball maybe. I think the one difference is that those places the individuals own their image in many areas, then they can try to maximise their image elsewhere. This sport controls, pretty much, the driver’s image.”
“I do think about the next up-and-coming young stars that are coming through, and I don’t particularly see why they shouldn’t be handicapped if they’re bringing something huge to the sport.
The F1 salary cap is bs. Drivers have to invest so much money to get to F1 and they risk there life in every race.
— Smug Asuka (@YaBoyChav) November 26, 2020
“It is a multi-billion dollar sport and they should be rewarded for what they do bring to it,” he said.
Image rights owned by individuals can make them richer
Hamilton is somewhat right, athletes belonging to American leagues like NBA and NFL are always among the highest earners in the Forbes list every year, with the endorsements and sponsorship money coming solely to their name.
Meanwhile, there are only three F1 athletes to make into the top 50 of the recent most Forbes list with Hamilton being the highest earner in the F1 lot.
So somewhere the British driver is right, with only 20 drivers to invest on, there is a high probability that every driver would be able to fetch satisfactory deals if they are allowed to deal with their images individually.