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McLaren's Brown: 'F1 budget cap inevitable'

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McLaren boss Zak Brown believes a semblance of a level playing field in Formula 1 will only be achieved by the introduction of a budget cap.

As F1 seeks to overhaul the sport's revenue distribution model and protect the economic viability of its mid-field teams, a spending cap is once again on the agenda.

F1's top manufacturers - led by Mercedes and Ferrari - significantly outspend the smaller, independent teams under the existing model, creating a much decried two-tier system.

In the past ten years, the concept of budget-limiting measures has often been tabled only to be discarded as several teams found themselves at odds with each other.

While Brown believes cost-cutting is necessary and ineluctable, McLaren's executive also insists its scope and amount must be carefully defined.

"I think there will be some sort of budget constraint/cap," he said.

"I don't think it is a random number you put out there. I think you need to help the teams get down to a more management level.

"So I do think, unlike has ever been done in this sport, I think there will be some budget management put in place – whether it is a cap in certain areas.

" I do think budgets will come down which is long overdue."

Along with Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, McLaren receives a special bonus payment from the sport's commercial right holder, an amount worth $30 million to the Woking-based team in 2017, compared to $35m for Ferrari and $39m for Red Bull and Mercedes.

Interestingly, Brown says McLaren would be willing to "compromise" on its special bonus if it meant the implementation of budget cap to level the playing field.

"Speaking for McLaren, we're a fan of budget caps," he said.

"We think it's important. Most other sports have it and it will equal the playing field.

"And we recognise that means we're one of the four teams that get special payments, [and] that might mean some compromise – but we feel if the sport is healthier ultimately that will benefit all of us.

"We're a great racing team. There's lots of great racing teams and we want to race and have the same chance as everyone else."

The American admitted however that some of McLaren's privileged rivals - like Ferrari - would likely push back on the idea of giving up its special bonus.

"I think those that can afford to raise the budget levels they are at will do everything they can to maintain that, because that gives them a competitive advantage, but it is a bit like having two extra players on the field in a football match.

"We need to get into a scenario where we are playing with somewhat the same sized bat."

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