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Force India: F1 must make progress on budget cap discussions this year

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Formula One teams are likely to receive a proposal on a budget cap spending figure by the end of the current year.

Since Liberty Media's takeover in January, F1's new bosses have made no secret of their desire to reduce the cost of competing in the sport and a cap on spending is being considered as a possible solution. The idea of a budget cap is controversial -- the FIA's last attempt to enforce a cap failed in 2009 when Red Bull and Ferrari threatened to quit the sport.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has continually voiced his concern that a budget cap would be impossible to police, but it has unanimous support among the grid's smaller outfits. Team budgets vary massively in F1, with some spending in excess of $300 million while the likes of Manor sank into administration at the start of the season.

A budget cap is unlikely to be implemented before 2021 because teams would need time to scale back their operations. Force India, one of the loudest advocates of a cap in recent seasons, recently suggested a limit of $150 million for every team and deputy team boss Bob Fernley thinks it is key F1 makes progress on the subject before 2018.

When asked if it was key teams find common ground on the proposal set to be received later this year, Fernley told Racer: "Yeah, I think they're working on that and hopefully will do so. We need to be delivering it this year - I think that's important. It looks promising that they're on target for that.

"I don't know [what the figure is going to be], there are different figures bounded around every now and then. But I think the main thing to do is get the presentation and the format of it and then develop it from there. Hopefully we can agree something in principle that can then be implemented.

"I'm sure that it's going to have to go on a glide path -- I don't think for one minute that you can do it overnight. So we've got to be fair to the teams that have got to cut back."

Fernley thinks the obvious benefit of an imposed cap would be closer levels of performance without drastically impacting the operations of most teams.

"It probably won't affect us at all -- and probably won't affect half the grid at all if the truth be known. But what it will do is bring us closer.

"Would Force India be willing to have a go with a $30 million budget difference to the big teams? And the answer's yes, as opposed to the $230m difference that we've got today!"