McLaren believes the ‘massive and painful task’ of cutting spending and reducing its staff numbers to get under Formula 1’s budget cap level is the price to be paid for new rules that it believes will secure the future of the sport.
The FIA’s World Motorsport Council on Wednesday ratified a raft of new measures, including a budget cap, car and engine development limits, and aero development handicap rules, following weeks of discussions between teams.
McLaren was one of the teams pushing hard for a bigger reduction to the budget cap below the $145 million that is coming into force for next year, but the team is happy with the package of regulations approved.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: “Formula 1 wins today. This is a crucially important moment for our sport. F1 has been financially unsustainable for some time, and inaction would have risked the future of F1 and its participants, who are to be commended for resolving this issue collectively and determinedly.”
But with the team expecting to have to lose around 70 staff from its F1 team to get under the budget cap level, with perhaps more to follow as the cap is reduced to $135 million from 2022 and beyond, it is bracing itself for some tough decisions.
Team principal Andreas Seidl said: “It has been clear to everyone for some time that a budget cap would be applied and we pushed for a lower limit to support a financially sustainable sport. It is a big challenge ahead of us.
“Adjusting the way we work and right-sizing the team to this new cap over the next months is a massive and painful task and, highlighted by our news earlier this week, will sadly mean losing team members, but our aim is to be the best-sized and most efficient team in the future.
“The cooperation and understanding of our team members have been great and with shutdown coming to an end from Wednesday onwards, it is important the team had clarity on the various regulations, which will now allow us to start work again on our cars and understand the implications of the regulations for the future.”
Seidl also said that ideas to ensure teams had scope for car development was also important for ensuring F1 remained attractive.
“While McLaren supports the cost-saving measures in general, we are pleased with the compromise to provide teams with enough aero freedom to retain the competitive element that is core to Formula 1 throughout 2020 and 2021, until the new technical regulations kick in for 2022,” he added.