Dr Helmut Marko believes it is imperative that a driver salary cap needs to be introduced in Formula 1. He went on to say that Sir Lewis Hamilton is “too expensive” for the sport.
Hamilton recently signed a one-year deal at Mercedes. His basic salary is reported to be around $30 million, but with sponsorships and endorsements, this figure is set to rise by another $10 million.
Currently, the budget cap does not take the drivers’ salaries into consideration. In 2021, teams will get the opportunity to spend a total of $145 million.
The next few years will likely witness the emergence of a wage cap, with drivers included in these talks. It has been speculated that a maximum of $30 million will be the team’s budget to divide between its two drivers.
Red Bull advisor Helmut has for long maintained that the sport should look at cutting expenses. Red Bull itself recently received news that its push for an engine development freeze has been accepted following Honda’s exit from the sport.
Helmut believes Formula 1 officials now need to take a closer look at drivers’ salaries and look to set some sort of a limit.
“Hamilton is simply too expensive for Formula 1,” said Marko.
“That’s why the drivers’ salaries should be included in the cost cap.”
The Formula 1 Commission has reportedly met this week to discuss contracts of drivers and senior team management. Some time in the future, these will be brought in line with the budget cap.
FIA, in a statement, wrote: “As 2021 sees the introduction of a cost cap for the first time in Formula 1, various topics around controlling costs and how this overall objective can be achieved over the coming years were tabled during the meeting.
“As part of this, a working group will be created – including the drivers themselves – to discuss the topic of driver and senior team management contracts.”
McLaren boss Zak Brown recently spoke on this topic.
“I think all team bosses are in favour of introducing the salary cap for the drivers and I think they will introduce it in the next few years,” he said.
Brown was, however, critical of the idea of introducing this cap to include the top-3 best paid members of the team. He said that it would make matters complicated since some executives and designers also work on projects that extend beyond the Formula 1 programme.