McLaren boss Zak Brown on Monday called for stronger leadership in Formula 1 to reduce the power of big teams and prevent the pinnacle of motorsport from turning into a pantomime.
In a post about the year ahead on McLaren’s website, Brown said some rivals were looking for ‘excuses to raise the cost cap and win world championships on checkbooks’ while gaining an advantage with teams B. Without naming names, the American said “at times it seemed like the sport was ruled by certain teams” and that more leadership was needed from Liberty Media-owned Formula 1 and the governing FIA .
The FIA elected a new president last month, Emirati Mohammed Ben Sulayem, in place of Frenchman Jean Todt, while Italian Stefano Domenicali took over as Formula 1 boss last year. The 2021 season ended in uproar, with Mercedes accusing race director Michael Masi of robbing Lewis Hamilton of an eighth crown with a late change to safety car procedure that favored Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who won the title.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull’s Christian Horner spoke on the radio to Masi during the race and the Australian official’s future remains uncertain, with some saying his position has become untenable. Brown said the past had been characterized by “a mostly autocratic style of governance”, a reference to decades under former supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and a more consultative approach was needed to reset the sport.
“Moving forward, there is a need to return to stronger and more directive leadership and governance at the top of the sport,” the American said. “It is clear that certain rules and their governance are not acceptable as things stand.”
Brown said the teams contributed to inconsistencies in policing and voted for many of the rules they now complain about. He suggested that the events in Abu Dhabi, under investigation by the governing body, resulted from systemic failures with “an apparent lack of preparation for the unfolding of events and temporary inertia on solutions”.
“It was the teams who put the pressure on to avoid finishing the races under the safety car at all costs,” he observed. “It was the teams that used radio broadcasts to the race director to try to influence penalties and race results, to the point where an over-excited team manager played from the stands and pressured the race officials.
“It hasn’t been uplifting for F1. Sometimes it feels like a pantomime audition rather than the pinnacle of a world sport.”
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)