A budget cap imposed on Formula 1 teams is reportedly being considered by the sport's new owners Liberty Media in an effort to reduce costs and lure fans by promoting fairer competition.
Budget caps have been discussed at length over the last two decades as a means of controlling costs that have spiralled substantially in that time and widened the margin between big spending manufacturer teams and smaller privateer outfits, many of which have fallen by the wayside.
However, previous proposals have been flatly dismissed by many of the sport's top teams, who have gone as far as to threaten a breakaway championship if the measures are forced through.
Despite this, the Telegraph
is reporting that Liberty Media owner John Malone – who began the process of purchasing F1 from CVC in September in a deal worth $3.3 billion – is unhappy at the imbalance in spending and priority of technology over spectacle.
“It makes no sense to have teams spending the better part of $400m (£320m)” a source is quoted as saying. “That money is not doing anything good for fans. It is just wasted on competing on technology. That has not been driven by logic and it has created a two-class society in terms of what is spent on teams. You should have an opportunity for the underdog to win.”
Though any such proposal is unlikely to be met with support from the likes of Mercedes or Ferrari, it is hoped Liberty Media's fresh involvement will be an impetus to discuss ideas and come to a solution in the coming years.
Following the takeover, which will be completed during the first quarter of 2017, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone remains in charge but it is known Liberty Media are keen to improve the commercial clout of the sport by transforming the way it is promoted, distributed and accessed in key markets, most notably the United States.
Chase Carey will work alongside Ecclestone for the time being, with Liberty's first significant act expected to centre around a shake-up of the calendar from 2018, with move away from wealthy Middle Eastern markets in favour of core audiences in the United States, Asia and Europe.
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