Hamilton slammed as "too expensive" for F1 – as £40m wages ‘could be halved’

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has called for drivers' wages to be included in the new F1 budget cap because he believes Lewis Hamilton is "too expensive for Formula 1".

Hamilton signed a new one-year contract with Mercedes earlier this month which will reportedly see him earn around £40m.

The upcoming season sees the introduction of a new budget cap which means teams cannot spend more than $145m, but there are a few exceptions.

One of those exceptions is driver salaries and Marko, head of Red Bull's driver development programme and team advisor, believes they should be included in the budget cap.

In an interview with RTL, Marko said: "Hamilton is simply too expensive for Formula 1. That’s why the drivers' salaries should be included in the cost cap."

The FIA recently announced that a 'working group' has been set up to explore the possibility of capping the salary of both drivers and senior management.

In a statement, F1 and the FIA said: "As 2021 sees the introduction of a cost cap for the first time in Formula 1, various topics around controlling costs and how this overall objective can be achieved over the coming years were tabled during the meeting.

"As part of this, a working group will be created – including the drivers themselves – to discuss the topic of driver and senior team management contracts."

Speaking back in November, Hamilton addressed talk of a potential salary cap, saying: "I do think that the drivers here are naturally the stars of the sport.

"They're the ones that are seen as the ones that bring [in] brands and their reputation helps elevate the sport and help it travel globally around the world.

"If you look at other sports, there have been salary caps in some of those sports – think like the NFL or basketball. The one difference is that in those places the individuals own their image in many areas, so then they can they can try to maximise their image elsewhere.

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

    "I think that it's a multi-billion dollar sport, and they should be rewarded for what they bring to it."

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