Could this be the biggest change in Formula One to date? In a letter to all Formula One teams from the FIA, the 2009 budget cap has been announced, standing at €175 million (£140,000 approx).
This amount will not include spending on engines, KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery) systems—which allows for driver to draw an extra 60kW’s to boost overtake speeds, marketing and salaries.
The FIA hope this will make teams more competitive and allow customer cars such as Prodrive to re-enter the F1 scene.
The response from team bosses has been fairly positive, with Mclaren’s Ron Dennis stating "I don't see a budget cap as a regulatory process—more the application of common sense”. Renault’s Flavio Briatore believes the budget cap will not effect the Renault team too much as he already spends 40 percent under the proposed cap. (Could this be the reason why Renault are so slow?)
However, I don’t feel the FIA are doing this to encourage customer cars. Why would they ban the use of manufacturer engines in customer cars? The real reason is to stop the teams with the biggest budgets winning all the time.
I'm all up for more overtaking, but isn’t Formula One about glamour, expense and exclusivity? I think this new regulation could take a certain shine off the great sport.
Is F1 going to become more exciting with the introduction of a budget cap, in conjunction with the new aerodynamic ban also set for 2009? What do you think?