Formula 1

Cost cuts should not “dumb down” F1, Brawn states

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Liberty Media Managing Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn has stated that under Liberty Media he does not want to “dumb down” the sport through his desire to cut costs.

Liberty Media’s takeover of the sport was completed in January this year, and has expressed its desire to create a fairer share of profit once the Concorde Agreement expires in 2020.

Brawn is especially keen for a more balanced distribution of budgets for the teams to allow the field to close up but does not want to disturb the current balance of teams.

It is a circular process,” Brawn told Autosport. “To have a discussion about remuneration with the teams is difficult if you don’t present both sides.

“We’ve got to present how we see the sport going forward in terms of the investment that the teams make, because it’s substantial.

“I think it’s fair to say that there’s not a team in F1 that wouldn’t welcome a reduction in costs.

“One thing I’d like to say is that we don’t want to dumb F1 down. F1 still has to be aspirational for the teams.

“We don’t want all the teams to be exactly the same, in the respect that there should still be the aspirational teams, there should still be the Ferraris, the Mercedes, the Red Bulls that teams want to aspire to beat.

“But we don’t want domination. We need an environment where a team that does a really good job can do well. We don’t want a situation where financial power enables a team to get a dominant position, as has happened in the last few years.

One of Liberty’s aims and biggest challenges will be convincing the top teams to agree to reduce the prize money.

Nigel Kerr – who was a former Honda, Brawn and Mercedes financial director – has been assigned the task of observing the spending by the teams and coming up with ideas about what could change.

We want to make sure that when we do come forward with our ideas, that they are very well thought out, and all the various elements have been properly sorted, discussed and are in place, so we have a complete proposal to take the sport forward,” Brawn added.

Nigel’s task will be to help build the financial models that can demonstrate hopefully the way forward for the teams in F1.

“It’s got to be in co-operation with the FIA.

“The FIA are the regulators of our sport, and they are the final arbiter of what goes on in the sport.

“We want to supplement and support those activities, and make proposals that we think are good for the sport. “But the remuneration debate has to go hand-in-hand with how we control the costs, or the investments needed in F1.”

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