Alonso backs Verstappen in opposing driver salary cap

Alonso backs Verstappen in opposing driver salary cap

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso believes that imposing a driver salary cap would be unjust amid FIA’s strict regulations on spending for Formula 1 teams.

The Formula 1 paddock has been put under tremendous pressure to maintain within the current budget cap regulations which has proved to be tough for the F1 teams with the rising costs all around the world.

As a result, some teams have urged the FIA to raise this season’s budget cap with inflation affecting every part of life around the world, fearing that they may miss the season’s final rounds.

Red Bull Racing has been the team to speak out the most about the paddock’s continued financial woes, with Christian Horner warning that some teams will be unable to compete in certain races.

A driver wage cap is one concept that has been suggested to save team costs, but it has sparked outrage among drivers. This is because a driver’s salary is not included in the budget cap, therefore if one were to be implemented, it would only benefit the teams, not the drivers.

Max Verstappen said a driver salary cap would be “completely wrong,” while his manager Raymond Vermeulen has branded any proposed driver salary cap “illegal,” and Fernando Alonso has backed them as he believes it is unnecessary.

If a wage cap is implemented, the two-time World Champion believes it will be taking advantage of drivers.

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” the Alpine F1 Team driver insisted. “Drivers have always been left out in this area and drivers are increasingly used to promote Formula 1.”

“They are asking more and more of us and they are taking advantage of that.”

The idea was opposed by reigning world champion Max Verstappen, whose contract with Red Bull is thought to be valued excess of £40 million each year.

“It’s still all a bit vague… I think no one really knows where it’s going to go,” he said ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku. “But from my side, it’s completely wrong because I think at the moment F1 is becoming more and more popular and everyone is making more and more money, including the teams, F1 (owners) everyone is benefiting.”

“So why should the drivers, with their IP rights and everything, be capped, who actually bring the show and put their lives at risk, because we do. So for me, it’s completely wrong.”

In an earlier interview with De Telegraaf, Verstappen’s manager said that drivers are exploited to promote the sport, echoing Alonso’s position. Vermeulen gave the example of the current World Champion.

“Take a look at the facts,” urged Vermeulen. “A grand prix came to the Netherlands thanks to Max. Zandvoort pays an annual amount to FOM to organise the race, a large part of which is divided among the teams. So they benefit from that.”

“It would then be very strange if you were to limit only the driver’s earnings model.”

Red Bull has come out in support of Verstappen’s anti-driver salary cap stance, but it remains to be seen whether Alpine will do the same for Alonso.

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