Since the beginning years of Formula 1 it's always been the mega rich manufacturers vs the poor little garagistas. There have been times the little guys did come through (thanks Colin Chapman), but in today's Formula 1, if you spend more, you win more. The money discussions came really came to the front when it came out Toyota was spending upwards of $400mil per season (obviously the money didn't help the results in this case, but it still forced the others to spend outrageous amounts). Resource restrictions have been discussed and tested, testing days reduced, hours cut, but nothing seems to really work, there’s always a way around it. The small and middle teams have been discussing cost capping for years, even Bernie himself, Max Mosley and many team principals believe a budget cap is the best alternative. However, the amount of the cap is what always stokes arguments and shuts down talks. Bernie proposed $250mil cap, but to many teams, this is still a ridiculous amount to spend, in fact is probably more than what the bottom three (including HRT) teams spent combined. So what is the perfect amount that teams and fans would all be happy with? *amounts in US dollars I am a fan of reducing costs and keeping teams in the sport and grids full. The $250mil proposal still seems ridiculous, so let’s talk what number might work and how reducing the costs drastically is really the only viable option. Caterham's Mike Gascoyne, who has been an advocate for reducing costs for years, recently said in an interview that $37mil, including salaries, would be enough to run an entire team from the ground up each year. On the other side, Niki Lauda and some team principals/owners from bigger teams agree that when you come into F1, you agree to spend a lot of money, it just comes with the territory. In other words, if you can’t handle the heat, stay out the kitchen. The pinnacle of motorsport is never going to cheap, that’s a given, but compare it to other major racing series, even the $37mil is outrageous. For example, NASCAR estimates have a competitive (top 20) team being run for around $6.5 million, Indycar about half of that, and most high-end sportscar teams in the Indycar and NASCAR range. Some exceptions occur when you get into the factory prototypes (who are said to be spending F1-like money, maybe more). So we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. How do we get out when there is really not a clear number that all teams are going to agree on…At least not with the current set of technical regulations the sport has. So what if the FIA loosens the technical aspects of the rule book – give the teams a strict $50,000,000 budget cap, but open up the regs. Let the engineers be engineers. Let the aero guys be aero guys. Give them a minimum weight and a box to fit the car into before and after each session and let them go at it. Blown exhaust diffuser? Fine. Reactive ride height? You're in. Double diffuser? Welcome back. Let the sport get back to its roots where technologies were invented, tested and ran with and I think we'd see surge in the sport’s popularity, not only with the fans, but also the teams. Wouldn’t this also help get rid of the hated "pay driver" label that is running up and down the grid for the teams to survive and allow for the world’s best drivers to remain in the world’s best cars on the world’s best circuits. Plug an FIA-hired accountant into each team's offices and balance sheets to and it's a simple solution, right? (Only slight sarcasm there) In reality, there is no perfect solution. Testing schedules, three car teams, customer cars and even the budget cap, none are ideal. However, if the teams are serious about cutting costs, then the best balance to please everyone is to open the technical rule book while keeping the strict cap. As fans, we watch F1 for the speed and technology and great racing that comes along with it, not to seewho is writing the biggest checks. Isn't F1 supposed to be the most technologically advanced and still somewhat relevant series in the world? Slap a strict dollar amount to the teams and let them think and retake that claim. Thoughts and ideas?