While I'm personally very much in favor of controlling cost via a cost cap system (rather than say testing restrictions, mandated reliability, penalty-points for component changes etc), there are of course always potential pitfalls and loopholes that will need to be regulated/closed if the system is to function as intended.
One such potential loophole seems to have been
exploited used cleverly by Red Bull in terms of floor assignment:
Now, my intention is not to discuss this specific case, but just more broadly the implications on the incentives for teams to provide equal equipment to both drivers under a cost cap.
It is actually quite obvious that it will often be logical for a team to throw as much money as possible on one of their cars to optimize that, while using the other car as a budget version. Take McLaren for instance, who are essentially already a one-car team given the poor performance/motivation of the departing Ricciardo. Why spend money that could be used on Lando's car to optimize Ricciardo's? And any team that has just one driver gunning for the WDC will of course have the incentive to shift the spend completely in that driver's favor.
So, what to discuss?
* Is this phenomenon a problem or just the natural progression of things?
* If it is a problem, is it possible to circumvent it somehow?
* Are there other unintended consequences of the cost cap that could be detrimental to the sport as a whole and that also needs amending?