McLaren slam opposition to budget cap cut as Ferrari warns against 'emotional' changes

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown has slammed two teams for opposing his push for a dramatic budget cap cut for 2021.

As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to hit Formula 1 hard financially, a raft of cost-saving measures have been agreed, including delaying next year's planned new technical rules until 2022 and limiting the development of current cars.

A small cut in the new budget cap from $175m to $150m is also expected, however, the McLaren chief has been pushing for that figure to be as low as $100m according to reports.

“Without 10 teams or at least nine teams, you don’t really have F1,” Brown, who has previously said the sport is in a "fragile state", told Sky Sports' Vodcast.

“A couple of teams need to be very careful because I think they are playing with fire, so to speak.

“It takes a full grid to have a sport, so if they continue to have the sport unsustainable and a couple of [smaller] teams lose interest or financially are not able to participate any more, they are going to be racing against themselves.

“And that’s not going to work."

Without naming them specifically, the American then made it abundantly clear those two teams blocking his motion are Ferrari and Red Bull.

“We’re talking about a couple of teams,” he added. “(Mercedes' parent company) Daimler I think is doing an excellent job, recognising the situation that we’re in so you can deduct who the other teams are.

“It’s a huge marketing platform for those two teams, so I understand why they want to keep the fiscal balance where it is now.

“But in sport, you kind of want to think that everyone can fight fairly and may the best team win.

“I think they need to have confidence. It’s like a heavyweight who only wants to fight middleweights.

“These are great teams, they should be prepared to fight everyone on more equal terms, and I think that’s what fans want in sport.”

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Speaking separately to the British broadcaster, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says he has suggested F1 consider a multi-level budget cap for those teams who are full constructors and those who buy-in parts like Haas and AlphaTauri.

However, he also argued against making major changes based solely on how bleak the current situation is.

“I think we should avoid being emotional as we know that we will face difficult situations but we need to somehow maintain the DNA and essence of F1 which is competition,” he explained. “We should not forget that is what F1 and motorsport are about.

“You also need to have a long term view so I think it is important that all together, we look ahead and make sure that we are taking the proper decisions with proper priorities but as I said before we should avoid acting on purely an emotional basis.”