May 8, 2009 / 5:39 PM / 10 years ago

Motor racing-Brawn says cost cap will allow F1 to innovate

BARCELONA, May 8 (Reuters) - Team owner Ross Brawn backed an eventual Formula One budget cap on Friday and warned that without it the sport risked turning engineers into ‘Swiss watchmakers’.

However, the Brawn GP boss also told a Spanish Grand Prix news conference that he was against a proposed two-tier system, with some teams embracing the cap and others remaining with unrestricted budgets.

“We don’t want to see a two-tier Formula One,” said the Briton, whose team are leading the championship after a management buyout of the former Honda operation.

“We think that would confuse the public, that if there is a big disparity in the regulations there would be no merit for those teams that succeed using the most advantageous regulations,” added Brawn.

The governing FIA wants to introduce an optional 40 million pound ($60.19 million) cost cap next year, not including drivers salaries and marketing expenses, with those accepting it given greater technical freedom than others.

Some manufacturers, notably Ferrari, have questioned how successfully any cap can be policed while also seeking to raise it considerably.

“One of the difficulties of Formula One is that we are turning into Swiss watchmakers,” said Brawn.

“We are just refining everything to the nth degree instead of being able to make conceptual or innovative changes because the rules are becoming more and more constrictive.

“To try and contain the costs, we are just closing everything down so much, and I’m not sure that’s what Formula One should be,” he said.

“We can save costs by saying ‘That’s all you are allowed to spend, and have more freedom’. For me, that’s a more exciting Formula One for us and the public and we’ve always supported that concept.”

Editing by Pritha Sarkar; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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