Fred Vasseur warns of slippery slope as Ferrari block Williams development

Michelle Foster
Fred Vasseur on the Ferrari pit wall. Bahrain February 2023

As some teams, led by Williams, petitioned for extra allowance in the cost cap for investment, Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur voted no as he feels it would be the “end of the stability”.

Last weekend’s Formula 1 Commission saw a number of teams request extra leeway in the budget cap to update facilities, something that Williams haven’t done in decades.

Speaking last month new team boss James Vowles revealed there are “some elements that are 20 years out of date as “investment it had was zero for around about 20 years”.

Ferrari team boss warns of ‘end of stability’

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper

He added: “Fundamentally, we’re in a situation where a lot of facilities were almost preserved from where they were 20 years ago. Composites is behind what I knew when I first joined the sport with a different team 20 years ago…”

But any chances of Williams being allowed to invest in the above, over and above the cost cap, were shot down last Friday.

“On CapEx, it’s a bit different my point of view, but my point of view is that we have a regulation,” Vasseur told the media ta Spa, including

“We’ve changed many times the regulations. And for me, the good shape of the F1 today is due to stability.

“If you start to change the regulation each week because someone has an issue, or wants to invest somewhere, it’s the end of the stability.

“And it’s a non-end process because today it’s Williams who want to have a new ERP [enterprise resource planning] system. Tomorrow, it will be another one who wants to buy new trucks, someone would like to have the last version of the simulator.

“It’s a non-end discussion, and we have to remember that the cost cap was the biggest step forward for F1 in terms of stability, convergence of performance, profitability of the teams and so on.

“It means that either we go in this direction, and I’m fully supportive, or it’s the end of the cost cap.”


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Power unit equalisation

法拉利在会上反对另一个问题was Renault’s call for engine performance to be equalized after it emerged their power unit is some 30hp below the rest of the fields.

“It’s true that when we decided to freeze the engine that we considered that in exceptional circumstances we could try to find a way to support the guys who would be completely out of the range,” Vasseur said.

“But I’m not sure that Renault is so far away, we don’t have the same numbers as Renault, it’s the first time that my engineers are pessimistic compared to the other ones.

“And if we have to do something, it can’t be a fuel flow. We have the same approach with the wind tunnel allocation, that the guy who is P10 has more time in the wind tunnel, it’s not that he has 10 kilos less.

“You allow the team or the PU manufacturer to develop, and you don’t give him an advantage, it will be the start of the balance of performance.”

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