We often talk about the cost cap the teams must adhere to in 2022 and how difficult that is. How the teams are continually asking for the cap to be raised to accommodate economic price inflation and other factors.
We also discussed how the originally proposed six Sprint Race in 2023 was reduced to three because the teams were adamant that six was too many special feature races to fit within their cost cap due to the cost of running cars. To be fair, I agreed with them.
What we didn’t see coming was a recent decision at an F1 Commission meeting in London where the teams were trying to approve adding six Sprint Races to next year’s calendar. In this case, it needed majority support from the teams, F1 and the regulatory body, the FIA.
It was a bit surprising to see the report from Jonathan Noble over at Motorsport today about this meeting and how the teams and F1 were all on the same page but the motion was voted down because the FIA wanted more money.
There are a total of 30 votes in F1 with 10 teams, ten votes for F1 and ten votes for the FIA. A simple majority of 25 votes was needed and the FIA voted no.
According to the report, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who chaired the meeting, said that they would consider adding more Sprint races if there was a financial contribution made to the FIA…in short, more money from the sport.
The FIA said: “With the first of three sprint events of the 2022 season popular with fans and stakeholders last weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the teams were supportive of an extension to six sprint events for the 2023 season, running with the same format as in 2022.
“While supporting the principle of an increased number of sprint events, the FIA is still evaluating the impact of this proposal on its trackside operations and personnel, and will provide its feedback to the Commission.”
That is reported to not have gone down well with the teams and F1 and the FIA agreed to investigate what impact it would have on FIA resources to accommodate more Sprint races.
So in short, the teams didn’t want six races this season due to the cost of running the additional three races. The FIA now has jumped on that dastardly cost cap issue by suggesting that they can’t afford to do three additional Sprint races either.
So here we have a quagmire in that the teams want more money to race more and the FIA want more money to race more. I understand the cost of the teams but I’m not quite as convinced that it is a massive burden on the FIA to run three more Sprint races.
There is no doubt it cost them more but in the end, they staff and personnel are already there. It would be interesting, in fairness to the FIA, to understand just how much it does cost them to cover a race weekend so fans could better understand why they are asking for more money. I’m sure it would surprise most of us.