Brown: Budget cap won’t settle until ‘2022/23’

Date published: January 3 2020

Teams didn't want to develop theirs cars to support 2020 tyre compounds say Pirelli.

McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown believes the incoming budget cap will only settle down in the sport from 2022 or 2023.

The $175million-per-season cap comes as part of a total overhaul to the series’ financial, technical and sporting regulations from the 2021 campaign.

But teams like Ferrari have already admitted to bumping up their budget significantly this year in preparation, so Brown doesn’t expect the cap to really help level the playing field until the following year at least.

“A lot’s going to be happening in 2020 and 2021,” Brown is quoted by F1i.com.

“Let me start with 2020. The rules don’t change a lot, so our goal has to be to continue to incrementally improve. Keep our head down.

“We’ve still got a lot to work on. We started last season more than 1.5 seconds off pole and towards the end of the year it was as low as eight tenths.

“That’s still a big gap we need to close.

“And then, come 2021, it’s going to be the biggest reset in the recent history of Formula 1, and I think that’s going to be exciting.

“Not only for us, I think it’s going to be exciting for everyone who follows the sport.

“Again, with the budget cap coming in, that will help, but that’s not really going to settle in until 2022 and 2023.

“So, while we’re on forward progress up the field, it’s going to get harder the nearer we get to the front but all the men and women at McLaren are up for it.”

McLaren recorded their best finish in the Constructors’ Championship since 2012 last year with P4, and the team continue to evolve with earlier management changes, such as the arrival of Andreas Seidl as team principal, followed by further tweaks ahead of 2020 after Andrea Stella was promoted to a racing director role.

“It felt like a long year but in reality, it’s been a very short window since we started making changes with our racing team in 2018,” Brown explained.

“Starting with the technical side, we signed James Key early on. We’re very excited to have him as our technical director and he and his team have been working hard to put together our 2020 race car.

“Andrea Stella has stepped up — he’s leading the team at race weekends — and then, of course, Andreas Seidl, our new team principal, has just done an outstanding job, bringing a tremendous amount of leadership to our racing team.

“With any great racing team, there’s a lot more than what you see on the track that goes into making it successful.”

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