Change of rules to spending limits would make the sport more competitive
If you ask ardent F1 fans, they would say that Formula 1 has lost its charm. Those critical would highlight that it’s Nascar, only worse, with 20 cars going around the track to claim victory. For long, F1 is being criticised for becoming a boring sport. The same people win every championship, and the same teams take the mantle. It’s either Mercedes or Ferrari, or if chance (track and luck) has it, the Red Bull. An analysis of this season shows that besides Daniil Kvyat and Toro Roso, not one team has moved ranks to claim the top three spots. What’s ailing F1 is the same thing that is ailing most other sports, where the money is guiding who wins and at what cost.
But F1 has directed a change, which may bring back interest in the sport. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body, has announced that the 2021 season would limit budget spends of each team to $175 million. The move would ensure that Mercs and Ferraris can’t spend more than the other 18 in a bid to win the championship.
The limit is still higher for tier-II players, and adding other ancillary spends to it would make it a costly affair. But the step is in the right direction. A budget cap would ensure the likes of Renault and McLaren—long driven into obscurity—compete better with the rest of the pack. More importantly, as time progresses and F1 again competes for eyeballs, the spends may be revised again to create a more level-playing field amidst teams. What this also ensures is that management, administration and innovation is what drives the sport, and not the money. Some may rue the rule as it constraints big teams to get the best of technologies, but greater competition can also increase acceptability amongst fans. After all, no one wants to see cars go around circles, knowing it would be either red or black that wins. The FIA needs more colours in the palette to save the sport.