Ross Brawn has revealed that F1 is set for a cost cap decrease in 2021 after its latest meet as he elaborates on its plans for 2020 season.
Brawn appeared on the Sky Sports’ ‘F1 Show’, where he confirmed about the meeting between them and the FIA minus the teams, regarding the cost cap, which has been highly debated, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The set call was of $175 million for 2021 but the pandemic called for a reduction after teams agreed to carry over the 2020 cars into 2021 and defer the new regulations to 2022. The initial drop was hovering between $145-150 million, but teams wanted further fall.
McLaren were the key in these talks as they went head on against Ferrari, who were not too keen to go below $145 million. Zak Brown was quite open to take up the Italian manufacturer but Otmar Szafnauer and Guenther Steiner were soft on it.
The duo understood the call for further drop by McLaren but they also sided with Ferrari. The latest meet only happened between the F1 and FIA as Brawn stated they are on-course to have a budget cap of $145 million in 2021 and fall further if needed.
“Today’s meeting was the FIA and Formula 1,” said Brawn. “The details will be going out to the teams in the next few days. There has been a lot of consultation and I think we’re now at the very final stages. It will all become clear shortly.
“The budget cap’s initial objectives were a more competitive field and I think with the situation we have now, then the economic sustainability of Formula 1 is the priority, I think that counts as much for the big teams as it does for the small teams.
“It has become very clear from the people who stand above some of the team principals and management of these teams that the message is clear: we’ve got to cut costs. And therefore, another big step in the reduction of the cost cap.
“We started at 175, that was a long battle to get it there, and with the current crisis, we’re now going to start at 145. The discussion now really is how much further down we can drive the next few years.” Brawn, then, went further on the prize money distribution.
“I think there’s going to be a much more equitable prize fund in the new agreement, so the midfield teams in particular are going to be much better off in terms of their portion of the prize money, so it’s being balanced in every direction,” said Brawn.
“We reduce the amount of money that can be spent in Formula 1 and we’re improving the distribution of the prize funds more evenly amongst the teams. So a good midfield team should be able to score podiums, maybe even a win, and it should make a small profit.
“And if we can achieve that then we’ve got a very sustainable future.” One of the points made by Brown was also the prize money, where the American thought if the budget cap is higher, then, they will have to have a better distribution of money.
On the other hand, Brawn opened up about the 2020 season, with the idea still to start in Austria in July, where they are trying to create an isolation zone within the paddock too, where they won’t allow free movement and multiple tests for personnel.
“We’re working together with the FIA, and they are putting together a great structure for what we need,” said Brawn. “Everyone who is entering will be tested, and will have clearance before they can go in. And then every two days they’ll be tested whilst they’re in the paddock.
“That will be an authorised authority and will be consistent, certainly for all the European races we’ll be using the same facility to conduct that testing. We’ll have restrictions on how people move around within the paddock.
“We can’t have staff that socially distance so we have to create an environment within itself that is effectively a small bubble of isolation. The teams will stay within their own groups. They won’t mingle with other teams and they’ll stay in their own hotels.
“There will be no motorhomes there. There’s a tremendous amount of work going on between ourselves and the FIA and I’m very encouraged by what I’m seeing and what I’m hearing that we’ll be able to provide a safe environment and we can,” summed up Brawn.
Brawn also confirmed that he has had discussions with some of the drivers too with more to be taken onboard to explain and take pointers – if any – on what they think of the situation and how we can go ahead with the 2020 F1 season.
Here’s what Bernie Ecclestone stated on various topics
Here’s the last from Ross Brawn on 2020 F1 season
Here’s latest on what F1 is planning for 2020
Here’s FIA on extension of F1 shutdown
Here’s Liberty Media on reattribution