Formula 1 wouldn’t have been able to retain the current number of manufacturers or teams if a budget cap had not been implemented for next year, admits Ross Brawn.
In light of the anticipated economic impact as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, F1 chiefs held crunch talks in efforts to ease the inevitable financial burden teams are facing amid the pandemic.
Withe the aim of making the championship more sustainable, it was agreed that the cost cap limit would be reduced from $175m to $145m when it is introduced in 2021.
Renault recently committed its long-term future to F1, despite announcing proposed cost-saving measures throughout the company.
Speaking during the 2020 FIA eConference, Brawn – F1’s managing director of motorsports – stressed the incoming changes were crucial to preventing the loss of major manufacturers in the sport.
“This crisis gave us the opportunity that we knew the budget cap always would,” Brawn said.
“Once you set a budget cap, you can always adjust it. Before this ever happened, we said that if we ever have a crisis in the future, we can adjust the budget cap to take account, and all accept that the ideal level changes.
“I think without the ability for these teams to go back to their boards and manufacturers and say: ‘Look, Formula 1 is vital, and it’s going to cost less in the future’, I don’t think we would have retained the number of manufacturers or big teams that we have.
“When a manufacturer is making the economic adjustments it has to, if Formula 1 is still out there with unlimited spending, that’s a difficult argument.
“I think touch wood, we’ve kept all the main players involved, and that’s because we’ve been able to say that we’re sustainable from an economic perspective.”
To increase a push in reducing costs, teams will race their 2020 cars again next season and be limited on car development in specific areas.
The new regulations will follow in 2022, which is aimed at closing the field closer together to create more exciting racing.
“[The new cars] are more focused on what we feel are the areas the fans engage with, instead of spending a lot of money on things the fans know nothing about,” Brawn said.
“I think they’re going to be better-looking cars. They’re certainly going to be able to race each other more effectively.
“There are a lot of things we were doing, and we’ve got our sustainability initiative which we’ve started in the last few years which are very important for engaging companies as well.
“They want to see a good sustainability strategy in F1. And we want to do all of that without spoiling the core attraction or the excitement of F1.”