Zak Brown makes thinly-veiled Red Bull cost cap dig as McLaren reduce spending

Sam Cooper
Zak Brown laughing with Christian Horner on the press conference couch. Australia March 2023

McLaren CEO Zak Brown laughing with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner on the press conference couch. Australia March 2023

Zak Brown has joked that the first thing McLaren did to come under the cost cap was to trim down on their catering bill.

Catering became the unexpected centre of a cost cap controversy last season when it was partially blamed for Red Bull’s minor overspend of the 2021 budget.

Red Bull were handed a $7 million fine plus a 10% reduction in wind tunnel testing as punishment and the other nine teams will be hoping it is not their head next on the block when the financial results of the 2022 season are released later this year.

Zak Brown: ‘McLaren reduced catering bill’ to come under cost cap in 2022

McLaren have had an expensive year with a new wind tunnel on the way as well as a number of senior staff signings but Brown is confident they will come in under budget, with the axe being taken to one particular department.

“First thing we did was we reduced our catering bill!” Brown joked to media including “We had some inefficiencies in our spending. We weren’t operating our own wind tunnel, we were renting the wind tunnels so that comes at a higher cost and if you’re just paying operational expenses for your own.

“We’ve had to make some tough decisions but also with some of our new technologies coming online, they’re actually financially more efficient and so we’re able to redirect some of that inefficient spend into additional headcount.”

McLaren confirmed to that the wind tunnel is in the process of being commissioned, with a view to it coming online in the second half of this year. recommends

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One new source of income would be a title sponsor and although the potential of Google, who have worked with McLaren for a special livery this weekend, as a title sponsor was put to Brown, he dodged the question and instead praised the American company for their current level of support.

“Google is an awesome partner,” Brown said. “There are not many more impressive companies out there. It’s exciting that we’re able to do as James [Vowles] is doing [with a special livery] and a nod to our history and the future.

“Of course, we had great success with the chrome livery when we last won a World Championship which is too long ago, 2008, and to be able to do something that’s known to our past while we’re celebrating our 60 year anniversary but also very much looking forward to the future.

“So I think these are exciting times [with] what all the teams are doing with their sponsors that are all really a nod to the fans to give them something exciting to look forward to at all these different races.”

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