McLaren boss Zak Brown has called for Formula 1 teams to be given more technical freedom now the series operates under a cost cap.
Introduced for the 2021 campaign, teams are now limited in the amount of money they can spend in a season on car development, although there are some exceptions to it including the top three salary earners in each squad.
In 2021, teams were allowed to spend $145 million, with the limit gradually being reduced year on year, with $140 million the limit in 2022 – although this was raised by 3.1% to allow for global inflation and spiking of energy costs.
However, now the cap is firmly in place, McLaren’s Brown would like to see the technical rulebook relaxed to give teams more “innovation.”
Brown calls for rule changes
“If you’ve got a cost cap, then there should actually be some more technical freedom within the cost cap,” Brown explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.
“You would then see more innovations and risk taking and the cars would look even more different.
“If you have the cap, then you’ve kind of got two [guidelines] as ‘Everything has to look exactly like that’ and ‘You can’t spend more than that’.
“Just stop with the spend and do [what] you want.
“I think you would bring out more innovation, and everyone would learn from each other.
“It was like when Brawn did the double diffuser [in 2009], they got a great head start.
“But by the end of the year, it was balanced out, so I think you could get that. That’s the fascinating part of the sport.”
McLaren pretty close to 2021 limit
While he would not be drawn on exactly how close McLaren had come to breaching the $145 million in 2021, Brown admitted that there were some “nerve-racking” moments as they edged towards it.
“It’s nerve-racking because you want to get as close to the cap as possible,” he explained, while hinting that the team were within one million dollars of the limit.
“If you have an accident or something or something goes wrong [then you could be over], but we did the dry run [in 2020].
“Our CFO had many clarifications and opportunities to ask questions and we did a lot.
“Federico [Lodi, head of financial regulations at F1] and the FIA did an excellent job.
“There was clarity and it was kind of when in doubt, ask the question.”
- Brown calls for more technical freedom in F1 cost cap era
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