McLaren’s Zak Brown backs F1 cost cap

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Count new McLaren executive director Zak Brown in the camp of those in favour of having a budget cap in Formula 1.

Cost control has been a recurring theme in the sport for many years with smaller outfits struggling to keep pace with ever-growing budgets, as highlighted by Manor’s current plight.

The topic has emerged once again, after it was reported that new F1 owners Liberty Media were keen to implement a budget cap in the near future.

Ferrari president Sergio Marchione has already moved to say that imposing limits on team spending is not feasible, but Toro Rosso's Franz Tost has firmly argued otherwise. Brown, who joined McLaren at the end of last year, explains why he agrees with the latter.

“I’m a big supporter of getting a budget cap in place and rebalancing the economic spread between first and last place,” he told Autosport.

“Teams like McLaren and Williams and Ferrari bring more to the table than some of the others and I think we need to be rewarded as such but it will be unhealthy for all of us if we have a Manor [which is currently fighting for its survival] every year.

“Lotus was sold for a dollar [to Renault] - I've never heard of a football or a basketball team being sold for a dollar, because they're good businesses.

“We need to reduce spending and then balance that money out and then everyone should be making money.”

In 2009, then FIA president Max Mosley wanted to establish a £40 million budget cap, an enticing prospect for the three outfits - Lotus Racing, Virgin Racing, and Hispania Racing F1 Team - set to enter the series the following year. However, the plan was eventually ditched when several top teams threatened to launch a breakaway championship.

Since then, HRT folded at the end of the 2012 season, while Lotus, which had become Caterham, followed it on the scrapheap a couple of seasons later. The former minnows could soon be joined by Manor (ex-Virgin) after the Banbury-based outfit fell into administration for the second time since 2015 in early January.

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