Brawn: Reduced budget cap helped retain big teams in F1
Formula 1 chief Ross Brawn believes the sport would not have retained all its manufacturers had it not reduced its budget cap for 2021.
Teams were initially set to deal with a spending limit fixed at $175 million, but the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact on F1 forced an additional cut-back to $145 million.
Brawn reckons that change was crucial in convincing all manufacturers to remain in the sport.
“This crisis gave us the opportunity that we knew the budget cap always would,” Brawn said, speaking at this week’s FIA eConference.
“Once you set a budget cap, you can always adjust it. Before this ever happened, we said that if we ever have a crisis in the future, we can adjust the budget cap to take account, and all accept that the ideal level changes.
“I think without the ability for these teams to go back to their boards and manufacturers and say: ‘Look, Formula 1 is vital, and it’s going to cost less in the future’, I don’t think we would have retained the number of manufacturers or big teams that we have.
“When a manufacturer is making the economic adjustments it has to, if Formula 1 is still out there with unlimited spending, that’s a difficult argument.
“I think – touch wood – we’ve kept all the main players involved, and that’s because we’ve been able to say that we’re sustainable from an economic perspective.”
Abiteboul casts positive outlook on Renault future in F1
To help F1 teams weather the current economic downturn, the sport’s scheduled 2021 regulation overhaul has been delayed by a year and development has been frozen, meaning the use of this year’s cars will be extended into 2021.
Brawn is confident the 2022 field of new-spec cars will deliver the close racing and excitement expected by the fans.
“[The new cars] are more focused on what we feel are the areas the fans engage with, instead of spending a lot of money on things the fans know nothing about,” Brawn said.
“I think they’re going to be better-looking cars. They’re certainly going to be able to race each other more effectively.
“There are a lot of things we were doing, and we’ve got our sustainability initiative which we’ve started in the last few years which are very important for engaging companies as well.
“They want to see a good sustainability strategy in F1. And we want to do all of that without spoiling the core attraction or the excitement of F1.”
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