Mattia Binotto has revealed that talks are already underway over the potential introduction of an F1 driver salary cap that could limit how much teams are permitted to pay their top drivers.
Upon the introduction of Formula 1’s spending restrictions in 2021, it was decided that only expenditure relating to car performance would be capped. Driver salaries expenditure, meanwhile, was deemed not to relate to car performance and thus fell outside of the cost cap rules.
Equally, the top three salaries paid to team personnel were also excluded, so superstar designers or strategists could still make a difference.
However, change could be coming, with Binotto revealing that teams now “understand the importance” of capping overall expenditure, not just that related to car performance.
“That’s a point we started discussing now a month ago, together with all the teams, F1 and the FIA,” explained Binotto, speaking to RacingNews365.com in Monaco.
“We understand the importance to try somehow to cap the overall expenses. Obviously, there is not only the three top, let me say, key personnel in the team, there is not only the drivers, there is the engine and the power unit as well, for which there will be a budget cap in the future.”
Binotto: It will take time to implement a salary cap
For now, details as to how a driver salary cap would be enforced remain sparse, with talks very much in their infancy. Binotto has admitted that, should it happen, it could take time to successfully implement due to the number of big-money contracts, already signed, stretching well into the future.
Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris are both tied down to long-term deals at Ferrari and McLaren respectively, while Max Verstappen’s newest Red Bull contract promises to keep him with the team until at least the end of the 2028 season.
“We are discussing it,” Binotto continued. “There is not a straightforward solution, especially for a driver salary cap. We are trying to understand what could be a solution.
“It will not be in the short-term, the reason for that is we already have contracts in place, and we cannot simply breach them. There are legal implications, certainly to understand how to do that, so it’s a discussion.
“It’s an important one, we understand it and we recognise it will take time, but certainly we will go through the process.”