Formula 1’s drivers will be included in a new working group to discuss a salary cap proposal aimed at further lowering cost.

Last year, F1 teams agreed in principle to a $30million driver salary cap that would come into effect for 2023 for drivers and the top three employees in each team, which typically includes the team principal and technical director.

The move is part of F1’s effort to reduce spending in the wake of the economic effects created by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

For the first time this season, financial regulations will come into force, with an annual budget cap of $145m implemented for 2021. That will drop to $140m next year and eventually be reduced to $135m in 2023.

However, driver salaries, the three-highest paid members of team management, and marketing are currently exempt from the financial regulations.

The matter of the proposed salary cap was among a number of key topics discussed during a virtual meeting of the F1 Commission on Thursday.

F1 said that “various topics around controlling costs and how this overall objective can be achieved over the coming years were tabled during the meeting”.

In the meeting, it agreed that a new working group - featuring the drivers themselves - will be established in order to discuss the topic of driver and senior team management contracts further.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who this week signed a new one-year deal to remain at Mercedes for the 2021 season, said that any salary cap should not handicap “up and coming young stars”.

“I do think that the drivers here are the stars of the sport,” said Hamilton.

“They’re the ones who bring their brands, and their reputation helps elevate the sport, and help them [the brands] travel around the world.

“If you look at other sports, there have been salary caps. I think the one difference is that those places the individuals own their image in many areas so then they can try to maximise their image elsewhere.

“But this sport controls pretty much the driver’s image.

"So, I mean, I'm not personally opposed to it. It's not my decision at the end of the day.

“But I do think about the next up and coming young stars that are coming through and I don’t particularly see why they should be handicapped if they’re bringing something huge to the sport.

“It’s a multi-billion dollar sport, and they should be rewarded for what they do bring to it.”



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