Brawn: Budget cap reduction needed to keep ‘big teams’ in F1

Ross Brawn

Formula 1 would have lost manufacturers without the announcement of a reduced budget cap for 2021, according to Ross Brawn.

The managing director of motorsports at Formula 1 told the FIA eConference this week that the decision to cut the cost cap to $145m from the initial $175m was crucial in safeguarding the sports future in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This crisis gave us the opportunity that we knew the budget cap always would,” Brawn said.

“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.”

The cost cap will be introduced in 2021 as planned and will be cut a further $5m to $140m in 2022, alongside the new rule changes.

It will then be reduced a further $5m in 2023 to $135m and Brawn feels that in conjunction with the new regulations, it could have quite an impact on the sport.

“[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 added.

“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.”