After Red Bull were punished for breaking the 2021 financial regulations, there have been wild rumours that some teams have already been found to be in breach of this year’s spending limits - something the FIA has strongly denied

How have McLaren turned their 2023 F1 season around?

The F1 cost cap is set at $135m for the 2023 season and the following campaigns up to and including 2025. 

Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, Croft claimed the spending rules are limiting teams from recruiting top people to the sport, causing a “brain drain”. 

"The cost cap is limiting many things in F1,” Croft said. 

“Staff recruitment is being affected because teams can’t pay the money that business outside of the sport can pay because the cost cap isn’t going up and inflation is quite high. 

“There is a brain drain with people leaving the sport to go and work elsewhere. Chief financial officers I’m sure are spending the summer shutdown scratching their heads thinking ‘I hope we’ve got everything right’. 

"It is a hugely complex piece of mechanism that, does anyone truly understand? I also think it is managed badly - why are we waiting a whole year to have the auditors bring out the results. Do it quarterly so teams know what's going on and can make adjustments.” 

However, fellow Sky pundit Karun Chandhok clashed with Croft on the matter.

“On the whole I think the cost cap is a positive. In principle I get the reasons why we have it, and I also get the challenges of policing it accurately,” Chandhok argued. 

“Crofty, where I disagree with you is in terms of pay. If you contrast what someone in F1 is paid, and you compare that with any other form of motorsport like Indy Car or Formula E and F1 is paid a premium. 

“Also compare with Jaguar Land Rover, or Nissan, or anyone in road car industry, and F1 people are paid a premium.

“They are struggling to recruit because they are trying to fit it in to the numbers they’ve got, because they don’t want to get rid of people.

“The big teams are being forced to come down to a cap and they are struggling to get people to fit into this little bit of spare budget, that’s the thing.” 

But Croft hit back: “Cost cap will stop the sport attracting the people it has in the past. 

“They will go off to other industries, not just road cars. There’s a lot of synergy between the space programme, aerospace and F1, there's a huge amount of synergies out there.

“Team principals are telling me they are starting to see problems on this.”

He continued: "I think we should get rid of cost cap as it stands currently. We should turn around and say let's be honest about this, the intentions were pure and to stop people spending huge money, and lots has gone on to hide things that are outside the cost cap.

“What we should do is say realistically your cost cap is set at £140m without your top three earners and without the drivers. So you've got £250m-a-year full stop.

“Stop having commercial outside of cost cap, because you can hide things there as well and just have a set fee. Make it simple. Everyone can understand it and if you go over that fee, then we are going to come down on you massively hard.”