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F1 News: Brawn says reduced 2021 cost cap is close to being agreed

Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn says plans for a lower budget cap in 2021 are nearly finalised, with the main sticking point on how much it's reduced in subsequent seasons

The 2021 F1 team cost cap was announced at $175million last year but, in recent discussions, it was agreed to lower it to $145m.

Brawn emphasised owners of companies that support the biggest teams are as keen to see a cost reduction as the smaller outfits.

A further drop to $130m is being discussed for the second year of restrictions in 2022, which would allow the larger squads like Ferrari and Mercedes more time to downsize their staffing numbers after the initial push to design cars for the new regulations.

Ferrari has been particularly resistant to a steep fall, which is why discussions have continued.

"I think the details will be going out to the teams in the next few days," Brawn told Sky F1.

"There's been a lot of consultation and we're now at the very final stages, so it will all become clear shortly.

"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 of the 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?"

Brawn insists that the series will have a healthy future if teams are obliged to spend less.

"I think there's going to be a much more equitable prize fund in the new [Concorde] agreement," he added.

"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."

Liberty Media announced recently that, after a shuffling of assets between its companies, the F1 organisation now has $1.4 billion of cash on hand.

This will enable it to support the teams by making payments in advance, for example.

"We'll judge on what level we should support the prize fund in the next 6-12 months, because obviously, we want to keep it alive," Brawn said.

"If we lose some teams in this period, it will be a tragedy. So we're working very hard in a fair and equitable way amongst the teams.

"We've got 10 very good teams in F1, let's keep it that way."

Brawn also stressed the new technical regulations won't be delayed for another year, despite lobbying from some teams, believed to include Red Bull.

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