F1 to usher in 'soft form' budget cap from 2019

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Formula 1's long awaited budget cap, a divisive subject among the sport's teams, looks set to become a reality next season, although in an initial 'soft form'.

Restrictions on spending have been a much debated key issue for F1 teams and for Liberty Media who has set its sights on significantly reducing budgets as it aims to level the sport's playing field.

F1 sporting manager Ross Brawn has revealed that a budget cap shall be gradually introduced from next season, and reach its final regulatory form in 2021, with a $150 million ceiling on spending.

"With the FIA and in consultation with the teams we are progressing well on the economic initiatives," said Brawn.

"Work on the mechanism of a cost cap is going well.

"At the moment we are looking to introduce it in a soft form, with dry runs in 2019, and 2020 and then it will be become regulatory in ’21.

"I would say that barring some last-minute discussions that’s pretty much finalised now."

Brawn is hoping the cap will progressively reduce the financial, and therefore the performance divide that exists between F1's top funded teams and its second-tier competitors.

"The ceiling won’t be achievable for all teams, but it will reduce the differential between the teams that are at that limit and those that aren’t, " he added.

"At the moment I think a top team spends twice what a midfield team spends and if we reduce that margin to around 10 or 20 per cent, then there is something for the midfield teams to aspire to.

"There will still be an aura around the big teams, but a midfield team doing a great job will be able to compete."

Brawn pointed to Force India's near demise to underline the crucial need to revamp Formula 1's financial structure.

"We only have to look at the situation Force India finds itself in to understand how crucial this is," said F1's sporting boss.

"The financial burden on teams is not sustainable in the long term and we are taking steps to put a limit on how much a team can spend."

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