The FIA and Formula 1 teams gathered for the commission meeting on Friday, following the FP1 and qualifying action. The FIA organized a two-hour meeting in Austria to discuss the increase in the $140m cost cap due to inflated freight and energy costs. During the F1 commission meeting, the teams and the governing body came to a decision that the 2022 budget cap would be increased by 3.1% to counter the rising costs affecting teams’ expenses. The additional boost will allow teams to spend about $4.3m above the regulated cost cap.
Earlier in the day, Mercedes suffered a double blow as both Lewis Hamilton, and George Russell crashed during Q3. On Saturday, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed that his team had already spent a third of the cost cap increase in hours to repair the damage to the cars during Austrian GP qualifying.
Wolff said that Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes were already above the cost cap. He pointed out that saving costs in the future would be necessary, at least for the Silver Arrows. Toto further pointed out that the increased cost cap is helpful, but it would not solve their problems. The Mercedes boss added, “We spent a third of the additional gain we got yesterday in one, right after it.”
Hamilton To Use A Spare Chassis After Friday’s Crash
Lewis Hamilton’s W13 suffered some serious damage when he ran into the barriers at Turn 7. The Briton will now use a spare chassis that he has already raced with this season. The Silver Arrows have also taken a gearbox without penalty as a precautionary measure. Wolff shared that when the W13s got back to the pit, they looked like lego cars cropped on the floor. The Mercedes boss reckoned that both drivers crashing out in a session was a rare sight. He pointed out that they looked like synchronized swimmers.
Talking about the corners in Austria, Toto shared that corners at Red Bull Ring are on the knife’s edge for drivers to attack them at high speeds. However, Wolff suggested that he would rather have quick cars and end up crashing to have more learning about the car.
The Austrian disclosed that both the W13s were pretty injured. Mercedes had to replace the floors, the gearboxes, George’s rear wing, and several other parts, which has implicated the cost cap. Further, Toto said that drivers are working round the clock to give the drivers good cars for the sprint race to help them secure a good position for Sunday.