Ferrari: Budget cap constraints will limit updates in 2022

ยฉFerrari

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies says this year's reduced cost cap in Formula 1 will likely constrain in-season development programs.

In 2021, teams restricted their rate of updates over the course of the season as resources were assigned to the development of their all-new 2022-spec cars.

But this year, while cars will evolve at a faster pace relative to 2020 and 2021, teams will need to compose with the sport's budget cap that has been incrementally reduced by $5 million to $140 million.

"Not compared to this year [2021], because this year obviously was near zero, or at least for us was very little, but if you go back to 2019, 2018, we think you will see less," Mekies said, quoted by Motorsport.com.

"In 2018, 2019, in the big teams, you had something every race on the car or every other race.

"It sounds difficult from our perspective to have a high number of updates with the constraints that we have."

Mekies reckons that sparingly managing that budget in terms of developments costs will be a difficult balancing act as each department is assigned the appropriate amount of funds.

"You need to keep a budget to develop during the year, because you will learn more and more, and therefore you will need ways to adjust. This has been the biggest challenge," Mekies explained.

"Once you have defined that envelope, that's what you have for aero development, that's what you have for mechanical development, then it goes to each department and aero will say: 'OK with that, I will be able to do two developments or three developments', and then you reschedule all your plans to feed that.

"That's effectively what we do now. How much of a challenge it is depends on your level of competitiveness to the others."

But Mekies warns that pre-season testing could undermine a team's planned budget allocation if a specific flaw is uncovered in a car's design, or if correlation issues arise.

"If you have a big issue at the beginning of the year and nothing is correlating and so on, you may invest some of your package two or package three money," he said.

"You need to fix it anyway now, so you take your parts, you put them into the bin, and that's the way you will deal with it."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter