Toto Wolff: This was a difficult year from a sport point of view”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After a difficult, but successful, 2020 season Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff talks about the budget cap, salary cap and Formula 1’s future.

In an interview with Autosport Toto Wolff was asked if he believes Formula 1 is in a better position after ‘surviving’ the COVID-19 lockdown, as well as agreeing on a new Concorde Agreement and budget cap.

“Well, obviously, this was a difficult year from a sport point of view,” said the Austrian.

“But more importantly, from a personal standpoint, I think none of us is going to go out of 2020 on New Year’s Eve, and say, ‘that was all great’. But I think, as with the team’s mentality, you learn the most out of the painful situations.

“And in that respect, I would agree with you the sport will come out stronger from this. We have been able to put the calendar together and this is thanks to the FIA, FOM and the teams collaborating in a positive way.

“And we’ve reduced the costs all together. We are one of the very few sports in the world that has been able to do so. And I believe that this is going to strengthen us going forward.”

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Wolff also gave his comments on the introduction of a driver salary cap, in addition to the already agreed upon team budget cap.

“That, of course, is a very polarising topic, a controversial topic. I think we need to do everything to make Formula 1 sustainable, and we need to stop the teams with more resource competing in different fields than the ones that are currently cost capped.

“So if you say there is a cost cap on the chassis, I think we need to have a cost cap or freeze on the power unit side.

“And if that is kept, the money is going to be deployed in other areas, people are going to compete in the market for managers, and their salaries are going to reach astronomical heights for the best people.

“And in the same way on the drivers’ side. And I believe that Formula 1 drivers are the best in the world, they should be paid like most of the sports superstars in the world, but we should look at the American sports leagues.

“And you can say that the NFL and the NBA have made their leagues and their teams sustainable by reaching breakeven or profitability targets.

“And we as Formula One are only going to be sustainable and generate an interest for team owners coming in for these franchises to be profitable if we achieve a general consensus on costs, and in that relationship, we need to look at driver cost in the same way it was dealt with in the US,” concluded Wolff.

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