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Formula 1 | Wolff: F1 should set drivers’ salaries, $30m ‘too much’

While all the Formula 1 drivers who spoke out opposed the arrival of a driver salary cap, team bosses were called to respond this morning at a press conference, starting with Toto Wolff.

The Mercedes F1 director, who is not hesitant to pay a huge sum for Lewis Hamilton, disagrees with the drivers: For him, in a world where F1 teams have a tight budget, there must also be a limit for drivers. Pilot salary.

A very generous proposal of up to $30 million per year was submitted in 2020, with no follow-up at the moment. Discussions have since resumed between the teams, the FIA ​​and FOM.

“It has definitely become a controversial topic, we can see that we are facing a very difficult situation in Formula 1 in general, the sport is thriving and Formula 1 is making more money and that is reflected in the teams, but we have a cost cap.”

“We have $140 million for a thousand people, with inflation, we couldn’t even pay that with inflation. And I think talking about a pay allowance of $30 million to $40 million, that’s too much, it’s not enough from that perspective.”

“Now the drivers clearly have a say in that, and I’d probably say the same as a driver. But the most successful American championships in the world set a salary limit 15 years ago, and they’re doing really well there.”

“Formula 1 is looking into all of this but without an immediate solution,” Get to know Wolf.

“But I think like any other sport in the world, we have to find a way to behave in a sustainable way and become independent of sovereign wealth funds or public money.”

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“Therefore, it is certain that this will be one of the main issues that will be determined, because you can not only get a driver’s salary statements in some major teams, which amount to 30/40/50 million when the rest of the team members will be divided into 140 million dollars.”

“Having said that, the drivers are superstars, they deserve to be among the best paid in the sport in terms of direct salaries. They really are.”

“And then we have to find a way to unleash the ability to make commercial sponsorship deals that account for two-thirds, if not more, of the athletes’ income for American sports teams – but in terms of direct payment, the Formula 1 drivers are the best paying.”

At his side, Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto broadly agreed with Wolff’s position but cautioned that any move on the driver’s salary cap would not be quick – and that wasn’t a question. “urgent”.

F1 already has several drivers on contract after the next 2023 season, while Max Verstappen (Red Bull) is on a senior contract until the end of 2028.

“It’s tough, I’m not sure there is a solution to be honest,” Binotto explains.

“It’s not just hard – it’s not urgent, and the reason for that is that the maximum salary for a driver will only affect a maximum of three or four teams, not more than that.”

“The teams that will be affected already have long-term agreements with their drivers. As long as it’s not something we need to implement for next year. It won’t be until 2026.”

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