Following long discussions in recent weeks, Formula 1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn says that the sport is nearing an agreement that could see the cost cap being brought down even further. Despite the retention of the current cars for next year and the subsequent delay of the major technical overhaul until 2022, the cost cap that limits the expenditures of teams will be introduced in 2021 as originally planned.
When originally announced last year, the budget limit was set at $175million, but the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis urged the sport to look into further possibilities to promote the financial well-being of teams.
Capitalizing on the opportunity, smaller teams suggested that the cost cap could be brought down drastically with McLaren proposing a limit set at $100million. While that cost ceiling was rejected by bigger teams, including Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes, the Commercial Rights Holder pushed on with lowering the budget limit.
Speaking to Sky F1, Ross Brawn confirmed that the long and frequent discussions about the controversial cost ceiling could come to an end soon. “I think the details will be going out to the teams in the next few days. There’s been a lot of consultation, and we’re now at the very final stages, so it will all become clear shortly.
The top three teams, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes have been against a drastically low cost cap, insisting that their structure and financial model are formed around a bigger budget. However, Brawn disclosed that even the leading outfits realized that the budget required to run a competitive F1 team needs to be lowered in order to guarantee the financial well-being of the sport.
“The budget cap’s initial objectives were a more competitive field. And, with the situation we have now, the economic sustainability of F1 is the priority. I think that counts as much for the big teams as it does for the small teams. And it’s become very clear from the people who stand above some team principals and management of these teams, the message is clear, we’ve got to cut costs.”
“We started on $175m – that was a long battle to get it there – and with the current crisis, we’re now going to start at $145m. The discussion really is how much further down can we drive it the next few years?”
The former Ferrari technical director insisted that the new prize fund system that is currently being discussed should lead to a closer field, cutting down on the enormous performance gaps between the top teams and the midfield.
“I think there’s going to be a much more equitable prize fund in the new [Concorde] agreement. So the midfield teams, in particular, are going to be much better off in terms of their portion of the prize money. “A good midfield team should be able to score podiums, maybe a win, and it should make a small profit. And if we can achieve that then we’ve got a very sustainable future.”
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