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New F1 motorsport director Ross Brawn says it is an objective of the revised Formula One Group to put small teams 'on a sounder footing' as part of a wider plan to improve the sport in the coming years.

It was confirmed yesterday that Manor Grand Prix had withdrawn its entry for the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship, reducing the grid to just 10 teams and 20 driver.

With Manor's collapse partially initiated by the failure to secure tenth place in the constructors' standings - thus denying it access to crucial prize money -, Brawn admits more needs to be done to safeguard teams with smaller budgets for the health of the sport.

"In the long run, we need to make sure more teams have the capability to compete," he told Sky Sports F1. "At the bottom of the grid, the commercial consideration of the driver is much stronger than it is at the front of the grid.

"If we can put the smaller teams on a sounder footing then l think the whole sport will improve and you will get more Verstappens coming through than you do now."

Describing himself as a 'poacher turned gamekeeper', Brawn adds the way forward is not to penalise dominant teams as 'fans will see right through' such gimmicks.

"If I'm honest, my objective for thirty years was not to have close racing and my objective was to compete at a level where nobody can beat me.

"I'm poacher turned gamekeeper now because my priority is closer racing" But we must not do it artificially and we must not penalise a team because they are doing an exceptional job. Someone has suggested that if a team is winning then they should have their development frozen until the rest catch up. The fans will just see straight through it and become disillusioned."

TAP HERE for LIVE text commentary of the first pre-season F1 test of 2017

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