Formula 1 will undergo major financial, technical and sporting regulation changes for the 2021 season. This includes a $175 million budget cap for each team for the season starting with the 2021 season.
But the teams are already planning for the sea change in rules and the bigger teams will be investing a significant amount of money in anticipation of the 2021 changes this year. The goal of providing a more level playing field for the smaller teams with less resources is likely to take effect in subsequent years only.
Zak Brown, McLaren F1 CEO, leads a marque team that has been slowly closing the gap to the top teams after seven winless seasons since 2012. The budget cap and the new regulations offer the Woking-based team its best chance to return to winning ways.
Brown speaking about the budget cap to F1i.com said: “A lot’s going to be happening in 2020 and 2021. Let me start with 2020. The rules don’t change a lot, so our goal has to be to continue to incrementally improve. Keep our head down. We’ve still got a lot to work on.
“We started last season more than 1.5 seconds off pole and towards the end of the year it was as low as eight tenths.
“That’s still a big gap we need to close. And then, come 2021, it’s going to be the biggest reset in the recent history of Formula 1, and I think that’s going to be exciting. Not only for us, I think it’s going to be exciting for everyone who follows the sport.
“Again, with the budget cap coming in, that will help, but that’s not really going to settle in until 2022 and 2023. So, while we’re on forward progress up the field, it’s going to get harder the nearer we get to the front but all the men and women at McLaren are up for it.”
McLaren improved to fourth position in the constructors’ championship in 2019. The induction of new Team Principal Andreas Seidl, the promotion of Andrea Stella to the position of Racing Director, the addition of James Key as Technical Director along with a very talented pair of young drivers could see the team improve further in 2020.