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Formula 1

McLaren: F1 wins from radical new rules package

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
3 min read

McLaren has hailed Formula 1 as the “winner” the approval of a raft of rule changes enshrining a lower budget cap and several other cost-saving initiatives.

A budget cap of $145m, $30m lower than originally planned, will be introduced in 2021 before being reduced by $5m in 2022 and again in 2023.

An aerodynamic development handicap system, token system to manage a 2020/2021 components freeze, limitation on engine upgrades and other 2020 development restrictions have all been pushed through as well.

McLaren had pushed for a budget cap of $100m but issued a statement immediately after the FIA announced the rule changes, enthusiastically supporting the rules package.

“Formula 1 wins today,” said McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown.

“This is a crucially important moment for our sport.

“F1 has been financially unsustainable for some time, and inaction would have risked the future of F1 and its participants, who are to be commended for resolving this issue collectively and determinedly.

“A uniform budget cap, in concert with more even distribution of revenue among the teams, will ensure greater competition and more people wanting to watch live and on TV, driving more sustained revenues to underpin the long-term financial health of the teams and the sport.

“Ultimately the fans win, and if the fans win, the whole sport wins too.”

Brown’s team principal Andreas Seidl said it was important to get clarity on the changes to the 2020 rules as team shutdowns are now ending and personnel resuming work.

“These are very tough times for everyone,” he said.

“There have been months of hard work under difficult circumstances but it’s great to see how, under the leadership of the FIA and F1, all teams pulled together to define the right actions to navigate through this crisis and work towards the future for a sustainable sport, that will enable all the teams to take part on a level playing field.

“While McLaren supports the cost-saving measures in general, we are pleased with the compromise to provide teams with enough aero freedom to retain the competitive element that is core to Formula 1 throughout 2020 and 2021, until the new technical regulations kick in for 2022.”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying Day Singapore, Singapore

Renault has joined McLaren in swiftly praising the new rules.

The French manufacturer’s future in F1 has been questioned following its poor 2019 season and the impact the coronavirus crisis has had on the business.

In a short statement, Renault said the changes “constitute responsible and appropriate responses to the short- and long-term challenges of Formula 1”.

“These decisions, supported unanimously by teams with very differing strategies, honour the remarkable work of the FIA and Formula 1 and will strengthen the discipline in the long term,” it added.

F1’s impending budget cap will force the biggest teams to downsize to meet the new spending limit.

McLaren is not among F1’s biggest spenders but the company is restructuring and enforcing mass redundancies, including around 70 members of its F1 team.

“It has been clear to everyone for some time that a budget cap would be applied and we pushed for a lower limit to support a financially sustainable sport,” said Seidl.

“It is a big challenge ahead of us.

“Adjusting the way we work and right-sizing the team to this new cap over the next months is a massive and painful task and, highlighted by our news earlier this week, will sadly mean losing team members, but our aim is to be the best-sized and most efficient team in the future.

“The cooperation and understanding of our team members have been great and with shutdown coming to an end from Wednesday onwards, it is important the team had clarity on the various regulations, which will now allow us to start work again on our cars and understand the implications of the regulations for the future.”

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