McLaren, Racing Point react as F1 cost-cutting measures approved

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McLaren and Racing Point have unsurprisingly reacted positively after the FIA approved a range of cost-cutting measures for Formula 1 in the coming years.

While almost all of the new regulations had been known about for some time, the formal process of agreement from the Strategy Group followed by ratification by the World Motorsport Council took place in the past week.

An overview of the measures can be seen below:

  • A new budget cap of $145m from 2021, with further $5m reductions in 2022 and 2023
  • A substantial freeze on aerodynamic development of the current cars, with upgrades largely restricted to wings, sidepods and the diffuser through a token system
  • Changes to the floor of the current cars to reduce downforce and subsequent performance by around 0.5s to ensure Pirelli's current tyre product remains suitable for F1
  • New technical regulations have been pushed back from 2021 until 2022
  • From 2021, a sliding scale of aerodynamic testing permitted in the windtunnel based on championship position, with top teams having less time than those who finished at the bottom.
  • Limits on engine upgrades and dyno testing plus the number of exhausts a driver can use per season
  • Teams restricted to just 80 personnel at "closed" races, with a maximum of 60 allowed to work on the cars

Commenting after the FIA ratified the changes, McLaren CEO Zak Brown declared Wednesday as a victory for the sport.

“Formula 1 wins today. This is a crucially important moment for our sport," he said.

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“F1 has been financially unsustainable for some time, and inaction would have risked the future of F1 and its participants, who are to be commended for resolving this issue collectively and determinedly.

“A uniform budget cap, in concert with more even distribution of revenue among the teams, will ensure greater competition and more people wanting to watch live and on TV, driving more sustained revenues to underpin the long-term financial health of the teams and the sport.

"Ultimately the fans win, and if the fans win, the whole sport wins too.”

Racing Point technical director Andrew Green also believes the changes will also consign the era of mega-teams, such as the current Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull operations, to history.

"I think those teams now are dinosaurs and you’ve got to be small, lean and efficient," he told F1i's Beyond the Grid podcast.

“As far as the financial side of the regulations are concerned, I think they are coming to us. They are definitely going to allow us to compete with what used to be big teams because they can’t be big teams anymore.

“They are going to have to come down and get much closer to our level. We’ve been doing it for years and we’ve been at this level for years.

“We do a reasonable job at it, by no means do we do it the best, and we could do it better, but we have been doing it a long time and I think we have put systems and groups in place that know how to work in a cost-driven environment, and I think that’s going to help us.

“A few years ago I would have been turning around to Lawrence and saying ‘we need a new factory, 900 people and our own wind tunnel, we need to bring an army if we are ever going to compete’. But that’s not the case anymore.”