Jost Capito: Williams F1 ‘wouldn’t exist anymore’ if not for budget cap


Jost Capito: Williams F1 ‘wouldn’t exist anymore’ if not for budget cap

Former Williams F1 team principal and CEO Jost Capito

Williams is one of the most successful teams in the history of Formula 1 – they have won the second most constructors’ championships in the history of the sport, 9, behind Ferrari’s total of 16. They won all of their titles in the 1980s and 1990s, and their days of glory are long gone. Their last win was back in 2012 when Pastor Maldonado won the Spanish GP, and their last win before that was way back in 2004 when Juan Pablo Montoya won the season-ending Brazilian GP.

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They’ve been dead last in every campaign since 2018, except for 2021 – when they were P8. They had also been facing financial issues earlier, even if the brunt of that seems to have passed now. Jost Capito, who recently announced his departure from Williams (he was CEO), thinks the team would have likely sank from their financial trouble – if not for the budget cap.

Speaking to GPFans before he had left his position at Williams, Capito said: “The budget cap is good for Formula One and for everybody. Without the budget cap, Dorilton [Capital, Williams’ owners] wouldn’t have invested in Formula One. It’s quite possible that without the budget cap, Williams wouldn’t exist anymore, so in that view, it’s vital for Williams.”

Also Read: “It has been a huge privilege to lead Williams Racing,” Jost Capito releases his statement after announcing departure from Williams

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Jost Capito: Budget cap will take 5 to 10 years to ‘equalize’ the field

Former Williams F1 team principal and CEO Jost Capito
Former Williams F1 team principal and CEO Jost Capito

The budget cap is meant to increase the competitiveness of the grid top-down. Teams like Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull just have much, much better financial resources and facilities than teams towards the bottom of the grid, and often, it’s just the finances which determine which team will have a chance at the top. The budget cap, combined with the aerodynamic restrictions, seeks to limit spending – so that the bigger teams just don’t keep running away with the championships.

However, as Ross Brawn previously expressed, these financial restrictions (along with the new regulations) will take some time to really come into effect, as bigger teams still have much better facilities. Capito thinks it might take 5 to 10 years to improve the field spread: “With Dorilton, we might have the money to invest more than others but with the budget cap, it’s equalised. Basically it is good because with a big team they would outspend by so much and we would not be able to keep up. Now with the budget cap, I think over the years it will equalise. It’s not one to three years, you have to look five to 10 years to make the teams more equal.”

But even if the budget cap will take a considerable amount of time to really ‘equalize’ the field, it should improve gradually. We may be treated to a more competitive Formula 1 season in 2023 already. The battle at the top is where the potential for the most competition lies, with Red Bull and Ferrari and potentially Mercedes, but Williams will also be looking to make a step up into the midfield.

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