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Brown: New F1 regs hit McLaren’s ‘sweet spot’

Daniel Herrero

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Monday 29th June, 2020 - 9:37am

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Carlos Sainz tests for the McLaren F1 Team

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes that the new Formula 1 regulations which will take effect next year are “right in the sweet spot” for his team.

F1 was already to have seen the historic introduction of a cost cap in 2021, but the figure has come down from USD 175 million to USD 145 million even before its implementation, with more reductions to follow in future years.

Among other rule changes also confirmed in May is an aerodynamic testing handicap, whereby teams are allowed less development time as they improve their position in the constructors’ championship, from 2021.

McLaren finished at the head of the midfield last year, fourth in the constructors’ standings, and has landed the services of Daniel Ricciardo from 2021.

While Brown expects to benefit from the regulation changes, he expects those below the Woking squad, and Red Bull Racing above, to also gain.

“Where the rules have landed are right in the sweet spot of McLaren,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.

“But, I think if I look at the top three spending teams, they have plenty of resource, so they’ll have challenges in scaling back – but that’s kind of a good problem to have, so to speak, so I think they’ll remain as competitive as ever.

“And then I think you’re going to have three or four teams that now run in the budget cap, ourselves, Renault, Racing Point and I think AlphaTauri will also.

“And I think Red Bull, if I’m Dr Helmut Marko, I now have two teams and collectively, I can kind of spread my resources and create two equal teams, so I think they’re a big winner out of this as well.

“And then I think it closes the budget gap for – I’m not sure if Sauber (Alfa Romeo), Haas, and Williams will run at the cap, but the difference between where they are today and where the cap will be will certainly be tighter.

“So, I think everybody’s really a winner at the end of the day, and it’s going to make for fairer, more balanced competition.”

Brown suggested that fans will also be beneficiaries of that more balanced competition, which in turn will drive improved commercial outcomes for F1.

“I am pleased for the outcome. I think the sport now is much more sustainable,” he stated.

“I think it’s going to make the sport much more competitive and ultimately the fans are going to be the winners.

“And I think if the fans win, the sport wins, because we’ll have more fans, newer fans.

“That will drive television, that will drive countries wanting to have more Grands Prix, that will drive more sponsor partners wanting to join.

“So, I think well done to the industry. It wasn’t easy, not everyone was always on the same page but I think we’ve landed in a very good spot.”

The McLaren Group’s finances have been prominent of late with news that it had commenced legal proceedings against current lenders in a bid to stave off insolvency.

It is reportedly now set to secure a lifeline from the National Bahrain Bank, which has a common shareholder.

The 2020 F1 season finally commences this Friday, with practice for the Austrian Grand Prix starting at 19:00 AEST.

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