‘Normally it’s Toto fighting everybody’: Guenther Steiner disagrees with Wolff after key FIA decision

The budget cap has been hiked after a number of protestations from the big teams on the Formula 1 grid.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is pleased to see the back of the budget cap saga after it was raised by 3.1 percent.

The budget was initially set at $140 million for the season for every team, and has to be spread out between damage repairs, car development, freight travel and more – drivers’ salaries are not included.

Part of the development process is the use of wind tunnels and, because of inflation caused by energy companies demanding extortionate amounts, Mercedes’ energy bill in Brackley has gone up by £4 million this year.

Further, transporting freight from country to country is now more expensive too, so Red Bull boss Christian Horner predicted that some of the teams would not make it to the final few rounds of the season under the restrictions.

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Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto showed plenty of scepticism as to the realistic chances of every team staying within the confines of the budget cap, but the smaller teams revolted against this.

Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur told the big teams to “switch off the wind tunnel” if they do not want to go over the spending limit, and Steiner affirmed that team bosses are “obliged to make savings,” as the cap was designed to stop the big teams throwing around money that the smaller teams do not have.

In the end, it was agreed that there would be a raise to the budget, and Steiner revealed that, having wanted the opposite to what the teams had been pushing for, a middle ground was found. 

“Pleased there was an outcome, I think the meeting took a while but in the end we found a compromise, which is always good,” he said.

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“So the compromise was that we are all not really happy about it, but we move on and that is the most important for Formula 1 in general.

“Obviously the big teams wanted more, the small teams wanted nothing and the compromise was in the middle. But I think it shows, again, in the end we work together.”

The Italian quipped that it was strange seeing Mercedes boss Toto Wolff on the same side as the people he usually shares a frosty relationship with.

“We fight… normally it’s Toto fighting everybody, but he had a few colleagues with him this time that fought with him, normally the people which he fights, but anyway it was a good meeting and we move on,” added Steiner.

The budget for the teams now stands at $145 million, the same as it was when the cap was introduced for the first time last season.