Franz Tost believes the introduction of a budget cap within Formula 1 is needed and it will be possible for the FIA to police it.
The team principal of Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda has dismissed concerns that teams will find ways of getting around the budget limitations likely to be imposed on them should Formula 1 go down the route of a budget cap, and the FIA will be able to keep track of who is spending what and when.
“I have been fighting for years for a budget cap and it is coming now hopefully,” said Tost to Motorsport.com. “I think it is doable. There were always arguments that you cannot control it, which is nonsense.
“You can control everything. The FIA, and FOM, whoever, just have to start from the very beginning onwards about how to control it. If I would decide, I would send to every team a person to control all the financial statements every week or every month. That’s it.
“Like now, for example, on the technical side you can control everything, yeah? We are even not allowed to test without passing crash tests and all this kind of stuff. So why shouldn’t you be able to control [budgets]? This is nonsense, you can control everything if you want.”
Tost insists the budget cap is needed primarily as the privateer teams, such as Toro Rosso, Williams Martini Racing and Racing Point Force India F1 Team, cannot spend the kind of money needed to be competitive against the manufacturer outfits, who have a much deeper pocket full of money to lash out on developments throughout the season.
He has tasked the FIA to find a way to reduce these costs as, should a cap not be introduced, the gap between the leading teams and the rest of the pack will widen and it would effectively far less entertaining races than the public deserve.
“When the teams were private teams we didn’t need it, because private teams never spend so much money,” said Tost. “The reason why the costs in Formula 1 increased so dramatically, it’s because of the manufacturers.
“For a big manufacturer, $500 million is a lot of money, but not so much. Because you must not forget that Formula 1 is I think the best marketing tool you can have. But private teams, they simply didn’t have this money, and they couldn’t achieve this big amount.
“The FIA and FOM must find the way to come down with the costs, because otherwise we have a two class society in Formula 1: the manufacturer teams and the rest. This is what happens now.
“There are three top teams, and the rest are in another league. Because if you look to the results, the cars behind the three top teams are 20-30-40 seconds behind, and the commercial rights holder must find the way that we have interesting races.
“Fortunately this year and also last year [Sebastian] Vettel is fighting against [Lewis] Hamilton for the championship because otherwise people would not watch any more Formula 1, because it is boring.
“And there we must be aware about this and what we have to achieve is that minimum three or four drivers and five or six teams are fighting for the championship, and the championship is decided in the last race and not a couple of races before.”