McLaren warns F1 facing 'final wake-up call' but is the sport listening?

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Formula 1 is facing a 'final wake-up call' to address long-standing financial issues, McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl claims.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, which is continuing to threaten the 2020 season, F1 has already announced a series of measures with the aim of cutting costs.

In recent weeks, however, a battle over the budget cap has been increasing with teams, F1 bosses and the FIA informally agreeing to a cut from the original $175m to $145m in 2021 and lowering it again to $130m in 2022 on Thursday.

McLaren though has been pushing for that number to be around $100m, and before the meeting, Seidl said F1 should seize the opportunity to create a better sport in the long-term.

"I think the crisis we're in now is the final wake-up call that the sport which was unhealthy before and not sustainable, has now reached a point where we need big changes, drastic changes," he told the media in a video conference.

"The most important thing is that we simply make the next big step on the budget cap because we think it's absolutely important now with all the financial losses that we will face this year.

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"We know that [FIA president] Jean Todt is coming together with [F1 CEO] Chase [Carey] in a lot of meetings with the teams to make big decisions in order to protect the teams, in order to protect I think also the future of F1.

"We would like to see the budget cap as low as possible. We have put out the number of $100 million, which is something we would be in favour of.

"I clearly see a commitment from everyone, understanding that we are in a big crisis and that we have to make big decisions to make sure we protect the teams and protect Formula 1.

"I still hope we make a big step on the budget cap in the next days and make some bold decisions, because it will be in the best interest, not just for us, but for everyone in the pitlane."

Ferrari and Red Bull have been against introducing such a deep cut, however.

Instead, they suggested a two-tier budget cap, that was rejected, and a handicap system which would limit aerodynamic development for teams based on their position in the previous year's Constructors' standings.

In other words, those at the top would have less aerodynamic freedom vs. those who finished at the bottom.

2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg has a warning though for those who do put their own interests ahead of the sport.

“If you have selfish minds that do their own thing, then everything will collapse in this sport,” he told L'Equipe.

“There are still a few high-level teams that do not play the game, who are keeping to their position.

“Some of the best teams have already given in and accepted the needs of the smaller teams because they understand the big picture.

“There cannot be a sport if two, three, four small teams go. It is therefore necessary to take care of them with an urgent need to cut costs.”