F1 CEO hits back at sprint qualifying cost debate

(GMM) Stefano Domenicali says Formula 1 risks losing sight of “the big picture” amid a dispute over extra funding for the three-race sprint qualifying trial.

Top team bosses Toto Wolff and Christian Horner are arguing behind the scenes that teams need to be compensated under the new budget cap for the additional costs of the extra races.

“We are in the process of defining the final details of these short races on Saturday,” F1 CEO Domenicali told Rai’s Radio Anch’io Sport. “We want to have that done by mid April.

“We will use this format for the first time in Silverstone,” the Italian announced.

Wolff and Horner are crying again

Some team bosses are hitting back at the Wolff-Horner argument, especially when it is putting a $300-400,000 price-tag on the extra costs.

“You can’t make an invoice in advance,” Haas’ Gunther Steiner told Auto Motor und Sport.

“If everything goes wrong, Toto may be right with his estimate. But if you get through the sprints without damage, it’s less.”

Domenicali agrees: “The difference (in cost) is not as big as it is made out to be.”

The F1 CEO does not think there should be special exceptions to the $145m budget cap for sprint qualifying or any other measure.

“If we ask for compensation for everything we want to try, we will never get there,” Domenicali insisted. “We shouldn’t lose sight of the big picture.”