Wolff explains why potential teams should not be worried by high F1 investment

Toto Wolff is an executive at Mercedes skysports.com

There has been a truckload of news in the past few days about how many potential teams are staying away from Formula One given the high cost involved in participating in the sport. The most recent of these is Volkswagen, who claimed last week that F1 is headed down a “dangerous path”.

While new owners Liberty Media are constantly looking for ways to cut these costs, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had a different view on the matter.



He said that customer costs are going down, and teams shouldn’t be complaining about the price that they are required to pay in F1.

It is no secret that Mercedes is second only to Ferrari in terms of the amount of money they spend, believed to be just short of $400 million a year.

Many believe that this budget has been a large reason behind the Silver Arrows’ success and has only led to a gap between other teams that continuously seems to be getting wider.

Wolff pointed out that fewer regulations on engine construction would help to cut these dollars, however, further lowering the expenses of what he believes to be cheaper than in years past.

“I think by making the future engine regulations less complex the development costs of the manufacturers are going to go down,” Wolff told Motorsport.com.

“The engine development costs big money, and the engine departments of all the current suppliers are loss making entities which shouldn’t be the case, so we’re trying to contain that.”

“On the other side we have found an agreement with the FIA to reduce the prices to all engine customers over the next years to levels that are the lowest ever in F1.”

Wolff went on to talk about engine costs only make up a fraction of a team’s budget, even those that have a smaller spending cap than that of points-leader Mercedes or Ferrari.




“I think if you get this kind of engine at prices like $12-14M, which is what we’re trying to achieve, I have no understanding for somebody that claims the engines are too expensive. It’s five percent of the big teams’ overall costs—five percent. And for the smaller teams it’s between 8-10 percent. Is that acceptable for a sport that’s called motorsport?”

This comes after teams like Toro Rosso and Force India have declared there needs to be a narrower gap between F1’s big spenders and the middle of the pack. The financial difference has led to a somewhat noncompetitive grid, with only one podium finish coming from a team that wasn’t Ferrari, Mercedes, or Red Bull—when Lance Stroll finished third for Williams at Baku.

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