Symonds praises budget cap – Pitpass.com

Symonds praises budget cap – Pitpass.com

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Recalling his time at Williams, Pat Symonds insists that the budget cap is “fundamental” to the future of the sport.

His career in F1 almost ruined by the Crash-gate saga that is now back in the headlines, Symonds returned to F1 in 2013 as a consultant to Virgin Racing. In fact, following Nick Wirth’s departure from Virgin, Symonds became de facto technical boss at Virgin however due to his (then) ongoing ban as a result of the Singapore scandal he remained a consultant, even if in name only.

In 2013 he joined Williams as Chief Technical Officer, leaving at the end of 2016 to eventually fulfil the same role at F1.

Speaking on the Beyond the Grid podcast, Symonds says the budget cap – which, ironically, was supposedly on the table when Virgin and several others were enticed to join the sport – is fundamental to F1’s future.

“We talk a lot about the 2022 car and how it’s improved racing and all the things we did, but the budget cap doesn’t really get the medals it deserves because the budget cap is fundamental to the future of Formula 1,” he said.

“My last team was Williams, where we were existing on a shoestring,” he added. “In fact, not long after I left Williams, it didn’t exist on a shoestring. They had to sell and they weren’t alone, teams were really struggling to survive.

“Over the course of seven years, we’ve turned these teams into all being worth half a billion dollars and that’s pretty impressive. And a large part of that is because of the budget cap.”

The Briton claims the cap was also integral in terms of new engine manufacturers joining the grid, what with Ford and Honda returning and Audi entering for the first time.

“It’s technology at a sensible cost,” he said. “Now, when you talk about the manufacturers, they’re saying ‘yeah, actually now this is interesting technology and it’s not at a ridiculous price’.

“We’re not having to put hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into it, but we can exploit the areas that are of interest to us.”

Much like his reference to drivers being the heroes, “the supermen that we (the sport) want to promote”, Symonds sounds more like a salesman than the Chief Technical Officer for the sport. Indeed, like Ross Brawn before him, he appears to have forgotten his racing roots, a poacher turned gamekeeper… and PR man.

And hands up all those who agree with him that the 2022 car has improved the racing.

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