Toto Wolff: ‘Maybe we will find a solution for Williams’

Williams boss James Vowles has discovered that the team's equipment is 20 years old.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has criticised some of the teams in Formula 1 for jumping on the “bandwagon”, following last week’s meeting of the F1 Commission.

One of the topics discussed in the recent meeting was capital expenditure, with Williams team principal James Vowles having called for the rules to be changed.

Vowles has argued that the grid will never become close based on the current regulations, with him having discovered since moving to Williams that the majority of the Grove-based team’s equipment is 20 years old.

The Williams boss wants changes to the budget cap to be made to allow teams like Williams to update their equipment, without being slapped with a penalty for breaching the $135 million cap.

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Helping Williams was reportedly discussed, albeit unsuccessfully.

Supposedly, several teams called for themselves to also be allowed to breach the cap to improve their own performance, something Wolff was far from impressed by.

“Why the Capex discussion (a capital expenditure version of the cost cap) came up is that a team, Williams, said their infrastructure is sub-par,” said Wolff.

“And they wouldn’t be able to catch up with trivial things like machine equipment, and up to the technical things like simulators. That was the starting point of all discussions.

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“Then, as a consequence, some teams jumped on that bandwagon to say, but actually, we would like to have a little bit more capex.

“And that number went up from $50 million to $60 million, $70 million, $90 million, and suddenly, it was like free reign and why don’t we change the Capex levels? But there is no reason to do that. I think there is one team we need to treat differently than all the others.

“We came up with a list. Some of the big teams said we don’t want a list, and if Williams get stuff, we want to have stuff. And that was simply shut down.

“We need stability of regulations, on financial relations. And you need to be able to have a business plan that is valid and not a free rein every two years where we change the goalposts on capex. So that’s why this was the end of the capex discussion, but maybe we will find a solution for Williams.”