McLaren supports F1 budget cap ideas

McLaren is in favour of the concept of a budget cap for Formula 1 teams, new executive director Zak Brown says

McLaren supports F1 budget cap ideas

Budget caps were flagged by then-FIA president Max Mosley as part of measures to attract new F1 teams for the 2010 season, but the idea was never ultimately introduced.

The notion has come and gone from the agenda since, but McLaren under Ron Dennis questioned whether it was necessary or could be policed.

Brown, though, is more open to the idea to ensure F1 does not "price ourselves out of being a championship that can put 10, 11 or 12 teams on the grid".

"I'm a big supporter of getting a budget cap in place and rebalancing the economic spread between first and last place," he told Autosport.

"Teams like McLaren and Williams and Ferrari bring more to the table than some of the others and I think we need to be rewarded as such but it will be unhealthy for all of us if we have a Manor [team entering administration] every year.

"Lotus was sold for a dollar [to Renault] - I've never heard of a football or a basketball team being sold for a dollar, because they're good businesses.

"We need to reduce spending and then balance that money out and then everyone should be making money."

A key part of Brown's remit is securing a title sponsor for the 2018 season, with McLaren having failed to replace Vodafone since its departure at the end of '13.

He concedes that the cost of F1 means the nature and level of a major sponsor's input has changed.

"You heard Ron make the comment a year ago, 'there's no such thing as a title sponsor any more', what he meant was a title sponsor used to pay half your racing bill," Brown added.

"The way the costs have escalated, no sponsor is going to pay half your bill. There is no £150million title sponsor.

"There are title sponsors but there is a limit to what F1 is worth and what has happened is that our cost base has outpaced the value - we are just spending too much money."

TOUGH TO CHANGE TEAM PAYMENTS

Liberty Media completed its takeover of F1 and replaced Bernie Ecclestone with a three-man management team on Monday, with Ross Brawn installed to handle sporting matters.

Brawn wants to even the grid out, but acknowledges efforts to change the existing team payments model will be tough to implement with contracts running to 2020.

"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," he told BBC Radio 4.

"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, the commercial rights holder has a valid input into trying to ensure that those are pegged back."

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