“Who’s that?”- Lewis Hamilton when he was asked about Alpha Tauri team principal Franz Tost’s proposal of capping drivers’ salaries.
A principle after the Portuguese Grand Prix in a Formula 1 commission was supported to cap the total salaries supposed to be given by a team to its drivers.
Suggesting that a team should not spend above $30 million for both drivers combined. However, Alpha Tauri’s team principal Franz Tost recommended that the price tag is too much and the teams should cap it till $10 million.
“The drivers anyway earn too much money, they should get much less,” he says to Speedweek. “If I would have to say something I would come in with a budget cap of maximum 10million or something like this.
“But we are on a good way of going there because we must become realistic. It’s not so easy nowadays to get additional sponsor money. At Imola, two days [before the race], it was allowed to bring in some spectators. Then it’s not possible.
“We don’t know how it is next year if spectators are allowed at the races, or not. And if spectators are not allowed that means the income will be reduced, FOM will get less money, less revenue, the team will get less, and I don’t see any reason why the driver should not get less.
A few weeks later, Hamilton was asked whether he agrees with the suggestion of teams capping the wages till $10 million, to which Hamilton replied: “who said that?”
The reporter informed: “Franz Tost”, Hamilton still perplexed asked, “Who’s that?”. clarifying his doubt, reported said “Er… team principal of AlphaTauri.”
|@LewisHamilton asked about Franz Tost’s view F1 drivers should accept salary caps of $10 million and be happy to drive the cars:
— RaceFans (@racefansdotnet) November 26, 2020
Hamilton subtly amazed with his discovery nodded. However, a wage structure like this wouldn’t be acceptable to the top of the food chain, with someone like Hamilton would have to compromise for around $40 million on the current contract, and now he is supposed to get an increment under his upgraded contract for 2021.
Why does F1 need a budget cap?
With the losses incurred due to the coronavirus pandemic, the teams unanimously decided to cut their current spending for the future course of seasons.
The original budget cap had been set at $175m, but after discussions, it was reduced drastically to $145m for 2021, and then $140m for 2022 and $135m for 2023.
There is a long list of items included in the budget cap, but ironically the salaries of the drivers have been excluded.