Haas boss Guenther Steiner has threatened to lobby against Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari’s plans to increase the F1 cost cap this year. The total amount teams can spend over the course of the year has been reduced from £107million ($145m) to £103m ($140m). However, F1 bosses are considering implementing six sprint race qualifiers after three were trialled last season.
That has led to calls from the biggest teams to increase the budgets at their disposals. Those fighting at the other end of the Constructors’ Championship fear the gap could expand if the bigger manufacturers are allowed to continue their heavy spending. And Steiner has warned that he is prepared to take proactive action. “We have to lobby on the other side that it [cost-cap increase] doesn’t happen,” said Steiner.
“There is a governance in place that will solve the problem out in my opinion.” A meeting between team bosses is due to take place within the next fortnight to decide the full rules for the 2022 campaign. “I don’t know exactly what is happening,” added Steiner. “We are having a Formula One Commission meeting in 10 days and then we will see more where we are with that one. “I think we will have three sprint races but …
I don’t know that. So let’s see where we can get to, but I don’t have the answer yet.” The sprint race sees drivers race around the track the day before the main event to decide the starting position. The set-up had great reviews last year after Hamilton fought his way from the back of the grid in Brazil to finish fifth.
Meanwhile, Verstappen has suggested some changes that could be made to sprint qualifying. There are a few areas where I think it could be different,” Verstappen said. “You only have one practice session and then you have to drive the whole weekend with the same setup. I think that is perhaps too risky. “I think if you also do a second practice after qualifying, you should still be able to change your car.”