McLaren CEO Zak Brown maintains that the team is “adamantly opposed” to an increase in the budget cap in Formula 1, and struggles to understand why some teams are pushing for such a raise.
The budget cap will reduce to $140 million this year, meaning that the teams have less scope for development, and the drivers are treading a thin line when it comes to damage.
Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies has already warned Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc to quickly find the limits and not exceed them.
“We will see more upgrades than in the 2021 season, but also fewer than in 2018 or 2019. We encouraged our drivers to sound out the limits,” Mekies said.
Brown has been quick to express his team’s opposition to an increase in the cost cap.
“Some teams want to take the opportunity to raise the cost cap,” he said, as quoted by Motorsport-Total.com.
“We are adamantly opposed to increasing the cost cap. So we will have to deal with this issue.”
The 50-year-old noted the some teams were pushing for an increase in the budget cap to cover the cost of repairs, but he stressed that there “was very little damage” sustained over the course of the 2021 season.
“The reality is there was very little damage last year. They made a report on the damage in the first round and that report showed there was very little damage.
“We assumed anyway there would be very little damage, and it turned out there was very little damage,” affirmed the American.
Owing to the addition of three more sprint qualifying events this year, there is concern that cars will obtain a higher rate of damage in 2022 but Brown disagrees, believing that some teams are asking for the budget to be increased by a “ridiculous amount.”
“Some teams want to take the opportunity to increase the budget by a ridiculous amount.
“According to the motto ‘what if I have to write off a car every race?’ As far as I know, I saw more accidents in practice than in the sprints,” added Brown.
While he concedes that having to stick to the reduced budget will prove difficult for some teams, he sees it as a positive thing for F1.
“For some teams it may be new that they have to manage a budget, but I think that’s in the spirit of the sport.
“We have to resist the fact certain teams are taking the opportunity to try to constantly increase that,” he said.
McLaren finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2021, with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo ending the season sixth and eighth, respectively.
Ricciardo’s win in Monza last year was the team’s first since Brazil 2012, while Norris helped complete their first 1-2 since 2010 at the same grand prix.