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Brown: We need genuine change in cost cap rules

McLaren have urged Formula 1 to change the cost cap rules to help teams promote sustainability without compromising performance.

McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown said on Thursday that teams should not have to choose between spending on car performance and sustainability initiatives that were currently included in the cost cap.

“We strongly believe in the cost cap and wouldn’t want to see anything that undermines its integrity,” said the American in a statement as the team published their annual sustainability report.

“But current regulations have created some unintended barriers when it comes to investing in sustainability.

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“To unlock our sport’s potential to drive the development of more sustainable technologies that can spark positive changes on a global scale, we need a genuine step change,” he added.

F1 introduced a cost cap in 2021 to rein in spending and level the playing field between the big teams and smaller outfits.

This year’s cap is set at $135-Million, but teams are allowed some exceptions and an additional allowance for there being more than 21 races.

Brown said F1 needed financial, technical and sporting regulations that enabled teams to innovate and invest in sustainability.

A chance for change with new Concorde Agreement

The current ‘Concorde’ agreement, which sets out the terms and commercial arrangements under which the teams race, runs through 2025 but rights holders Liberty Media are keen to draw up a new one before then.

“What we’d like to see is some adaptation of the financial regulations that allow you to clearly invest in sustainability,” Brown told reporters.

McLaren sustainability director Kim Wilson said new regulations for 2026 offered a big opportunity. That could be requiring a proportion of the car to be made from sustainable materials and how events are organized.

“Although they say 2026 we’ve got quite a small window to be able to come together collaboratively to find these pathways to building sustainability into the regulations,” said Wilson. “So we’ve really only effectively got until next summer I think. That’s why its urgent we need to act now.”

McLaren’s sustainability report recorded a 9% reduction in air freight emissions over two years as a result of transporting more race equipment by sea.

The team also reported a 22% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions against a 2019 baseline. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)