McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has called for changes to Formula 1’s cost cap in order to assist the championship’s drive towards greater sustainability.
McLaren published its 2022 sustainability report on Thursday, which included a nine per cent reduction in air freight emissions across two years, converting lighting at its MTC to LEDs, and eliminating single-use plastics.
However in its report McLaren noted that one challenge is that under current financial regulations, the costs incurred for sustainability initiatives sit within the cost cap, unless directly attributable to an existing exclusion.
McLaren outlined that teams ‘frequently need to balance investing in performance versus investing in sustainability within the confines of the cost cap.’
McLaren welcomed recent sustainability measures included in the updated financial regulations but has called for further changes to be made.
These include the introduction of ‘clear sustainability criteria’ into the Concorde Agreement to cover core requirements for race calendars, the paddock and motorhomes, clear requirements for promoters and organisers regarding sustainability initiatives, as well as exclusions relating to the adoption of more sustainable materials in the technical regulations.
“We strongly believe in the cost cap and wouldn’t want to see anything that undermines its integrity, but current regulations have created some unintended barriers when it comes to investing in sustainability,” said Brown.
“It’s been fantastic to see so much support from F1 and other teams on this issue, and we’re delighted that the FIA has established a working group to explore next steps.
“But to unlock our sport’s potential to drive the development of more sustainable technologies that can spark positive changes on a global scale, we need a genuine step change.
“That requires a level playing field so teams can work towards achieving the same targets and no longer need to choose between investing in car performance and investing in sustainability.
“Our sport needs a clear regulatory framework with financial, technical and sporting regulations that better enable us all to innovate and invest in sustainability. We need to find better ways to share expertise and insights across our industry. Only true collaboration will help us drive meaningful change.
“And if we want to achieve a step change with the new set of 2026 regulations, then those decisions need to be made now.”
Formula 1 introduced financial regulations ahead of the 2021 season in a bid to level the playing field.