McLaren chief Andreas Seidl says he’s support Formula 1 “trying new things” with the 2020 season, including experiments with race schedules and formats, but has urged the sport to focus on addressing areas which need the most attention.

With the 2020 F1 campaign indefinitely delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic, the sport’s bosses are assessing how to kickstart the season once the health crisis eases.

F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn has already hinted at aiming to get up to 19 races completed, assuming the season can start in July, with the prospect of triple-headers split up by one weekend off between each trio of races.

During these discussions suggestions have also arisen about how to schedule more races into a tighter timeframe including hosting double races at the same venue and using different track layouts. Silverstone and Red Bull Ring bosses have already confirmed they would be open to trying new race formats from the traditional Grand Prix weekend.

While Seidl backs the idea of condensing race weekends into two-day events to ease logistic and cost concerns and feels the unusual 2020 season is an opportunity to experiment, he has warned against turning the sport on its head and risk losing its strong elements.

“We’re definitely open to trying new things, but at the same time I think also it’s important not to rush into too many changes now,” Seidl warned. “I think it’s important to take our time to make the right decisions.

“For sure there is things like a race weekend format of two days - especially when you have three or four races in a row - which make sense.

“At the same time I think it’s also important, and it’s my view also, we have a good sport, we have seen a good sport also last year. We have seen good races.”

The McLaren team principal also circled back to the team’s drive towards lowering the cost cap which is currently under discussion.

From 2021, all F1 teams will operate with a maximum budget of $175 million (excluding certain costs like marketing and driver salaries), but McLaren feel with the significant drop in revenue due to the lack of racing the cost cap should be lowered to as much as $100m.

Ferrari has been the biggest opposers to the move, explaining it would need to make sections of its current F1 organisation redundant which would be against Italian employment laws, and has offered a two-tier cost cap idea to allow teams who manufacture parts to customer teams a greater budget to cover additional costs.

“For us the biggest topic is the big difference we are still having between the big teams and where we are. That’s something that needs to be addressed and will be addressed with the new regulations that are coming now in 2022,” Seidl said.

“It will be addressed with a budget cap that is hopefully going to be lower compared to the $175m, and then hopefully we come out of this crisis with Formula 1 maybe being in better shape than it has been before.”

 

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