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F1 salary cap could end Mercedes, Ferrari dominance

Formula One teams would be forced to slash hundreds of jobs and cut spending dramatically if a salary cap is introduced.

Owners Liberty Media, who purchased the competition for AU$6.5 billion in 2017, have outlined their vision to reduce the gap between the so-called ‘Big Three’ and the rest of the grid.

Liberty wants to impose an expenditure cap of $150 million on all crews to help smaller teams compete with larger teams.

Between them, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers have won the past 119 consecutive races.

Not since Kimi Raikkonen won the 2013 Australian Grand Prix for Lotus Renault has a driver from a team outside of the big three finished first in a Grand Prix.

Forbes analysis of the 2018 F1 season estimated a cap of $150 million would see 1,200 jobs lost across all the teams, but Liberty is determined to make the product more unpredictable and appealing to investors.

Some of the most successful teams have been known to spend upwards of $500 million per season.

Supercars driver Will Davison, who spent much of his early career in Europe testing in Formula One, argues the period of dominance by the teams like Mercedes and Ferrari has the competition “bordering on unsustainable”.

“The bottom teams used to be further away than they are today. The grid is actually more compact, closer than it has ever been in the history of Formula One, that I can remember,” Davison told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.

“But financially we are seeing huge issues, in terms of the top three getting massive distributions, in particular Ferrari and Mercedes, because of their history and involvement in the sport,” he said.

“The argument comes over the money that is distributed to [Ferrari and Mercedes] and it’s not evenly distributed to these very small teams that are struggling to hang on,” he said.

Listen to the Weekend Warm-Up with Cam Reddin – 4.00-7.00am Saturday and Sunday mornings