Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul says a budget cap is the key to reshaping Formula 1 beyond 2021, believing it has to be a “proper deterrent” to stop spending.
A budget – or cost – cap is one of the primary elements under discussion for 2021, along with revenue distribution, governance and the sporting and technical regulations.
Cost control has long been a subject of debate because teams have questioned the fairness of its implementation, particularly with regard to manufacturer-backed squads.
It is anticipated that some progress will be made during Tuesday’s meetings of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission in London.
“There is a lots of dialogue between the teams and F1 and the FIA, in particular on the budget cap,” Abiteboul told Autosport.
“That’s a very complex set of new regulations, and something that did not exist.
“So every day, every week, we are making progress to address some of the concerns. As far as Renault is concerned because we think that something needs to be seriously done to contain the costs to be competitive in F1, we are massively in support of the budget cap.
“Is it the perfect answer? Maybe not. Is it the best answer? Probably. That’s why we’re working very actively to make it as robust as possible, and according to what will be our assessment at the end, we will see if we can be in favour, and [if] we think it is a proper deterrent, or not. Lots of progress is being done on that aspect.”
Abiteboul stressed that a clear view on the situation is needed prior to the summer, in order for manufacturers to start planning long-term.
“I think we all accept that everyone needs to have some form of clarity before the summer,” he said.
“In order to do that we need to seriously get things ticked off, in particular on the financial side, on the governance.
“For me the three things that can’t wait are the financial distribution, the governance, and the budget cap – anything that’s related to the business, and the sustainability of the business model is important.
“That’s what will define whether or not F1 is still a compelling and attractive platform for 2021.
“Then I would almost say that the set of regulations is secondary.
Abiteboul acknowledged that F1 chiefs and the FIA face a difficult challenge in satisfying the respective desires of each team.
“They are trying to reconcile teams that have different business models,” he said.
“Right now it looks like they are not prepared to upset anyone. The risk and danger is that by doing that they end up upsetting everyone.
“That’s why I think it’s taking a lot of time to find something that would be able to satisfy everyone.
“I can see where they’re coming from, I can understand their point. But I think the main
thing to do is to make sure that F1 is and remains attractive.
“Right now it looks like they are afraid of losing one team, two teams, three teams.
“I think what’s really important is instead of having to live in fear we make F1 a platform that is again attractive enough to attract enough teams, so that you are not held to ransom by anyone.”