F1's Ross Brawn: Budget cap of $145m set for 2021 agreement
"We started at 175 [million dollars], that was a long battle to get it there, and with the current crisis we are now going to start at 145"
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 05/05/20 7:01am
F1's motorsports managing director Ross Brawn has told Sky Sports that the sport is in the final stages of agreeing a reduced cost cap of $145m for 2021.
The sport was already due to introduce a spending limit of $175m, excluding drivers' salaries and other selected items, from next year in a bid to improve the competitiveness of the sport.
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But Brawn says the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have sharply accelerated the need for a further reduction in the money being spent by all teams to go racing.
Fresh from a phone meeting between F1 and the FIA, the sport's governing body, on Monday, Brawn joined The F1 Show to provide the latest update.
"Today's meeting was the FIA and Formula 1," said Brawn to Sky F1.
"The details will be going out to the teams in the next few days. There has been a lot of consultation and I think we're now at the very final stages. It will all become clear shortly."
Although Ferrari, in particular, have publicly expressed concern about a cost cap being set too low, Brawn says it has become clear that F1 needs to introduce stricter spending curbs to protect all teams.
"The budget cap's initial objectives were a more competitive field and I think with the situation we have now, then the economic sustainability of Formula 1 is the priority," said Brawn.
"I think that counts as much for the big teams as it does for the small teams.
"It has become very clear from the people who stand above some of the team principals and management of these teams that the message is clear - we've got to cut costs.
"And therefore, another big step in the reduction of the cost cap.
"We started at 175 [million dollars], that was a long battle to get it there, and with the current crisis we are now going to start at 145 and the discussion really is how much further down we can drive the next few years."
F1 'being balanced in every direction'
The original plans for a budget cap - a first for Formula 1 and announced last October - came as part of a wider package of sporting, technical and financial rules aimed at resetting the sport's competitiveness from 2021.
The Concorde Agreement, which sets out F1's commercial arrangements, expires at the end of this year and Brawn believes that the eventual new terms should combine well with the budget cap to help level up the playing field.
"There's going to be a much more equitable prize fund in the new agreement so the midfield teams in particular are going to be much better off in terms of their portion of the prize money," said Brawn.
"So it's being balanced in every direction. We're reducing the amount of money that can be spent in Formula 1 and we're improving the distribution of the prize fund more evenly among the teams.
"A good middle field team should be able to score podiums, maybe a win, and it should make a small profit. If we can achieve that we'll have a very sustainable future."
But while the coronavirus crisis has led to the overhaul of the cars being delayed by a year, Brawn made clear the regulations are "definitely coming in" for 2022 despite calls from some teams to defer again to 2023.