The amount of capped budgets is supposed to decrease next year from $ 145 million to $ 140 million; but already the leading teams such as Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, and which are the most penalized by this rule, are trying to push in their direction so that the ceiling is maintained at 145 million (read here).
The argument in which the top teams have rushed is fair game: with 6 and no longer 3 sprint qualifications next year, the teams fear an overload of expenses linked in particular to possible accidents. F1 is already planning compensation up to $ 450,000, but that would be too little …
Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, castigates this maneuver which he considers hypocritical of the top teams: the sprints would be a false pretext to reduce the harmful effects of capped budgets on the « big fish » … McLaren on the contrary wants the rules of capped budgets are well respected. A showdown is on the way!
“Some want to take the opportunity to raise the cost cap, some teams are in this case. We are categorically opposed to any increase in the cost cap. We will therefore have to work on this issue. «
“You can bring in revenue to offset expenses or just accept that it’s auto racing and it’s the same challenge for everyone. «
The reality is that there has been very little damage this year in the sprint qualifying. «
Zak Brown is telling the truth since only Pierre Gasly (at Monza) had an accident in the first round of sprint qualifying … No top team has suffered from such incidents.
“When it was proposed to us a year ago, they reported on the damage that was occurring in the first laps. He demonstrated that there was very little damage. «
“And yet, a few teams still want to take the opportunity to increase the budget by a ridiculous amount. It’s almost like we’re like, « What if I crash a car every race? » «
“I saw more crashes in free practice than in sprint races. I think it might be new for some teams to have to manage a budget. But that’s in the spirit of the sport. «
Zak Brown is clear: McLaren and undoubtedly the entire midfield, will resist the maneuver of the top teams.
“Income will increase over time. We have to be very careful, we have worked a lot to be financially viable, and some teams take the opportunity to try to increase spending all the time. We must resist this. «
Brown judges the sprint qualifying format
Moreover, the sprint qualifying increases the income of F1, in particular through the revitalization of Friday. Zak Brown still believes that the format requires some adjustments despite certain promises.
“This was discussed last weekend with all the teams. It had a very positive impact on audience figures, especially on Fridays, and it is a fact. So that’s a good thing, more people watched on Friday. « .
“We still have to rethink this format as teams. But we all have ideas. Last year was a bit of a test and it attracted viewers above all, and now it helps to find sponsors. You have promoters who are ready to support it financially. So television likes it, promoters like it. «
“Every time you do something new in a sport you get a different reaction from the fans. I don’t think the format is perfect, but I don’t think anyone has claimed that the format is perfect, so this needs to be discussed. «