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Budget cap has been great for F1, says Brown

NEWS STORY
16/01/2024

Other than the little matter of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, Zak Brown believes the long-awaited budget cap has been good for the sport.

For as long as anyone can remember, the sport has tried - admittedly not that hard on occasions - to introduce a cap on spending, not only to prevent teams spending their way out of trouble but to level the playing field.

Indeed, previous attempts to enforce a cap almost tore the sport asunder, but once Liberty Media took control of F1 it became a priority and with the surprising assistance of the teams it soon became a reality.

Of course, it was never going to change things overnight, however, other than Max Verstappen's dominance, McLaren boss, Zak Brown believes it is working.

"I think it has been great," he told Speedcafe. "On one hand, with one driver, we've never had a less competitive Formula 1, thank you Max, hats off. Behind that, it's the most competitive I've ever seen Formula 1.

"It's the first time in the history of Formula 1 you've had five teams with seven podiums or more. You have teams that are ninth or tenth in the championship making it into Q3, I won't say on a regular basis, but enough.

"In the good old days of Formula 1, the teams that were at the back of the grid were three seconds off," he continued. "The entire grid is now covered by a second. So I don't think Formula 1 has ever been more competitive, I think it's going to get even more competitive. Once some of us catch this Max guy, Formula 1 is going to be unlike anything we've seen before."

Interestingly, his entry in Wikipedia refers to him as "an American businessman and former professional racing driver", concentrating on his on-track career, with just one brief paragraph referring to Just Marketing International, the marketing, sponsorship and advertising company he founded in 1995 and sold for $76m (60m) in late 2013.

Once the salesman, ever the salesman, eh Zak!

As for Max and Red Bull, though delighted with the initial feedback on McLaren's 2024 car, Brown remains wary of his Milton Keynes rivals.

"We like what we're seeing in the wind tunnel and CFD at the moment, so we feel like we're going to take a step forward," he said. "How much? The great mystery on Red Bull is when did they turn off the development of their car to focus on next year, and I think the answer is probably pretty early, so we'll just have to wait and see how much Adrian Newey magic comes out of the oven so to speak to see where we are.

"And at the same time Mercedes or Ferrari, these teams have everything they need and are great teams and I wouldn't be surprised if we were sitting here and all of a sudden Mercedes was back to Lewis winning his eighth championship."

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