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Martin Whitmarsh says budget cap 'unrealistic'

ESPN Staff
October 30, 2012 « HRT gives Ma Qing Hua another outing | Wolff wants quick budget solution »
Martin Whitmarsh: 'It's very difficult to find out where the money is and control it' © Getty Images

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh believes that Bernie Ecclestone's plans for a budget cap in Formula One are "unrealistic".

At the weekend Ecclestone said he had put to the teams the possibility of a cap of $250million (£150 million) which would include all costs, including driver salaries.

But Whitmarsh told the broadcaster the figure quoted was far too high to make any difference. "It sounds like quite a lot of money, so I don't know how much it is going to help many teams. The philosophy on controlling costs in Formula One is important to our sport and we all agree on that, although there are different opinions as to how that is best achieved.

"Bernie wants one that controls driver salaries and all those kind of things. What we should be trying to do is ensuring we are spending money in the appropriate places and controlling excessive spend in development."

Whitmarsh said a global cap was "unrealistic" because of the problems of enforcing it. "The budget cap from Bernie has the elegance that you can describe it quickly, but it's very difficult to find out where the money is and control it."

Although the existing Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA) has been criticised with accusations a number of teams have breached the regulations, Whitmarsh nonetheless said he favoured working within an adjusted version of that. "They're both trying to do the same thing. They're not against each other. They're just a different philosophy."

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier told ESPN that the suggested figure would be more about "the principle" and would help teams understand what needs to be done to make a more strict cap work.