Formula 1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone believes a budget cap that covers all the spending of teams is the best way to bring costs in the sport under control.
Ecclestone proposed the idea of a budget cap at last week's meeting of team principals in Paris, and also mentioned it again during a get-together with bosses in the Indian Grand Prix paddock on Friday. Teams are now evaluating the idea, but Ecclestone is in no doubt that the budget cap – which he wants to set at $250 million for 2014 – will be better than trying to bring in other cost cut measures.
"We are looking at the right way to put it in," explained Ecclestone. "I hate this word 'cut', it is not the way to go. We want to reduce the necessity to spend money to be competitive, so that someone can come in to F1 with a sensible budget, be competitive and not have to spend a fortune."
Ecclestone said that his ideal would be for the budget cap to encompass all of a team's spending – including drivers' wages – and that the original $250m limit would be pushed down in future years.
"I am talking about a maximum of spend, everything – including salaries," he said. "Once we have got the principle agreed, then we can reduce the amount."
Although some team principals are in favor of a budget cap, not all agree that the concept can work. McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "I think it [the $250m limit] sounds like quite a lot of money, so I don't know how much it is going to help too many teams.
"The philosophy of controlling costs in F1 is important, it is important to our sport, and we all agree on that. But there is different opinion on how you best achieve that. Bernie wants one that controls driver salaries and all those things, but I think what we should be trying to do is ensure that we are spending money in the appropriate places; we should be controlling excessive spend in development.
"It is a bit unrealistic to have a global budget cap, because it comes even more difficult to pin down and know that everyone is operating within it."