Wolff accusses rivals of ‘jumping on bandwagon’ in F1 disagreement

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Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has accused rival teams of “jumping on the bandwagon” during discussions over CapEx breaks for Williams at the latest F1 Commission meeting.

The Grove-based team is seeking an increase to its CapEx to overcome outdated infrastructure following what Team Principal James Vowles suggested was ’20 years of underinvestment’ for the team.

Vowles believes the facilities must be updated in order to stand a chance against rival opposition in the long term but would be unable to fund such an overhaul without a CapEx break.

Discussions at the F1 Commission meeting at the Belgian Grand Prix failed to provide Williams with the desired result, with former Mercedes Strategy Director Vowles claiming the topic went ‘around in circles’ as rivals put forward their own cases.

With teams focusing on their own priorities, Wolff hopes an agreement can be reached to help Williams catch up with its infrastructure.

No reason

“Why the CapEx discussion came up is that Williams said that their infrastructure is sub-par,” explained Wolff, speaking to media including RacingNews365.

“They [said they] wouldn’t be able to catch up on trivial things like machine equipment, simulators – which is less trivial – but up to the more technical things.

“That was the starting point of all discussions.

“As a consequence, some teams jumped on that bandwagon and said ‘well actually, we would like to have a little more CapEx.

“That number went up from $50 million to $60 million to $70 million to $90 million and suddenly it was like free… ‘why don’t we change the capex levers?

“There is no reason to do that. $36 million, one team, I think we need to treat differently to others in that case.

“We came up with a list – some of the big teams said ‘we don’t want a list, if Williams gets stuff, we want to have stuff’ and that was simply shut down in the last F1 Commission – it shouldn’t be the case.

“We need stability of regulations, financial regulations, you need to be able to have a business plan that is valid and not free reign with every two years we change the goal posts on CapEx.

“That’s why this was the end of the CapEx discussion, but maybe we find a solution for Williams.”

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