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Formula 1 teams pondering standardised parts

Formula 1 teams are pondering introducing standard parts as a cost-cutting measure, according to McLaren executive director Zak Brown

As F1 embarks on the post-Bernie Ecclestone era, ex-team boss Ross Brawn, who new owners Liberty Media has appointed to look after sporting matters, is targeting a simpler sport with better racing.

The standardisation of parts has been discussed at length several times in previous years and Brown believes it would be a good way to reduce costs provided it was part of a wider plan that could include a cost cap.

"There are some that think we should standardise some parts," Brown told Autosport.

"Teams have shown they're very clever.

"I don't think you can control costs just by controlling what's on the cars.

"We'll just find other areas, the windtunnel being a great example: we pulled that back and now CFD budgets are through the roof, so I don't think you can manage it only by standardisation of parts.

"You can do some of that and I don't think the consumer knows visibly what the suspension on our car looks like, compared to the suspension on a Williams, as an example.

"So I think things can be standardised to reduce costs that don't improve the show and the fans don't recognise the difference.

"But I still think we need a budget cap, which most other sports have."

Brawn, who is working in a three-man team alongside new CEO Chase Carey and commercial chief Sean Bratches, has spoken about taking a long-term approach and moving away from reactive decisions F1 has recently been guilty of, such as the qualifying format tweaks early in 2016.

He says the technical challenge remains important to F1 but believes there is a better balance that can be struck.

"The DNA of F1 is always a fair element of technical challenge," Brawn told BBC Radio 4.

"And I think that's healthy, there is a need for the cars to be different, and there is a need for the fans to follow the cyclic competitiveness of the different teams.

"But it's pretty excessive at the moment, so we've got to look at that and see how we pull that back, because the margin between the front and the back is dramatic.

"Undoubtedly we are going to have a whole list of objectives, and one of them is to enable small teams to stand on their own two feet.

"That at one end involves the money paid to the teams, and at the other end the cost of going racing and putting on a decent show.

"The monies paid to the teams, we can't do very much about for a number of years, until the commercial agreements get reviewed again.

"But on the costs to the teams, I think the commercial rights holder has a valid input into trying to ensure that those are pegged back."

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