McLaren boss calls for more team freedom within budget cap restrictions

Sam Cooper
McLaren CEO Zak Brown

Zak Brown is entering his eighth year with McLaren.

McLaren boss Zak Brown has repeated his request that regulations be opened up to allow more testing time for the F1 teams.

F1 teams are extremely restricted when it comes to the number of on-track tests they can do with the current rules limiting them to two promotional events, two demonstration events and the tyre tests organised by Pirelli.

But in the cost cap era, Brown wants the regulations to be eased so that teams can decide where best to spend their resources.

Zak Brown wants testing changes to spice up the grid

The promotional events are restricted to two runs of 100km while demonstration events are much shorter at 15km per session. The days of Pirelli tyre test were set at 35 for 2023 but a recent FIA rule change boosted that up to 40 for 2024 onwards.

But that figure is still far lower than what was allowed in the past with the restriction on testing being brought in to stop the bigger teams conducting many more test runs than their competitors.

But McLaren CEO Brown argues that with a cost cap, teams are restricted in a different way and therefore should be able to choose where they spend their budget.

“Since we have the budget cap, I’d like to see the regulations open up and not be so restrictive because we have a cap,” he told the Track Limits podcast.

“So if you want to go test instead of being a wind tunnel, go test. If you want to do more wind tunnel time, do more wind tunnel time. If you want to put six wheels on the car, put six wheels on the car.

“I think the cap kind of stops people from overspending. So I think therefore, if you really want to see a lot of different cars, open up the regulations.” recommends

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It is not the first time Brown has voiced such a thought. In September he said testing rules were why the current grid looked so similar.

“I’m happy we came up with the regulations where we’re able to test a two-year-old car, at least that gives them some relevance,” Brown told Sky Sports F1.

“They don’t learn much about today’s car, but I think that the intent was for it to be more of a driver tool than a team development tool.

“I would like to see some more testing. With the cost cap now, my general view is to give us a little bit more freedom because we’re capped out on what we can spend.

“Maybe if the rules weren’t so prescriptive, you might see some different-looking cars. If you’ve got a cost cap, I think you can then free up some of the rules and let people develop how they want to develop because we’re all capped by how much you can spend.”

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