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Brown: FIA and Liberty 'must act to control F1 costs'


McLaren executive director Zak Brown has urged the FIA and Liberty Media to intervene over spiralling costs in Formula 1.

He says that the sport's governing body and its new owners have to devise a cost-control strategy “as the highest priority”.

Mercedes and Ferrari are believed to spend over £150 million per year chasing their world championship dreams. Smaller teams including Force India, Williams and Sauber have to make do with much less.

"Formula 1, of all the major sports, has the largest discrepancy from first to last," complained Brown. "They’ve got to close that gap.

"Costs are totally out of control.

"We’re probably the only industry in the world, let alone sport, that has not addressed cost in today’s day and age.

"That needs to happen," he insisted. "I think that happens as the highest priority."

"Liberty has told the teams when they want to go - not in total, but directionally. It’s engine, it’s cost cap, and it’s revenue distribution. Those are the three things we’ve all known about

"[But] they’ve not put on the table what the revenue distribution will look like, other than that it will go from here to here."

Brown said he wasn't against successful teams receiving greater revenue - as long as it wasn't ploughed into technical development.

“If people end up making more money than others, I’m okay with that," he said. "As long as they’re not able to spend it to cause this great gap we’ve got in the field."

Brown said that he didn't know whether the FIA and Liberty were planning to introduce a cost cap, or cost containment to deal with the problem.

"I think cost containment is very difficult and the cost cap is the way to go," he offered. "At the end of the day if you have the money, you’re going to [spend it]."

McLaren's income has slumped in recent seasons, after a lack of on-track results saw it lose big name sponsors. The divorce from Honda and costs associated with moving to Renault in 2018 also ate up cash.

The engines are currently one of the biggest costs in Formula 1. And a team that can't afford a good power unit will suffer on track, as McLaren has found all too painfully.

“The engines are obviously very complicated and expensive," Brown agreed. "There probably needs to be an independent manufacturer in there to give teams greater choice. The engine situation does get very political.

"The FIA announced a direction of a more simplified engine, and we support that."

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