McLaren has urged Liberty Media and the FIA not to cave to the demands of Ferrari and Mercedes, even if it risks losing both from Formula 1.
Ferrari issued a quit threat after being unhappy with the 2021 engine proposal outline that was delivered at the end of last year, with a planned change in revenue distribution also not to the team’s liking. Mercedes has since come out in support of Ferrari’s stance, and McLaren executive director Zak Brown admits the pair “seem to be very like-minded” in the direction they want F1 to go in.
Asked if there is a danger both Ferrari and Mercedes could walk away from the sport if their demands are not met, Brown replied: “I think that’s highly unlikely but I think anything is possible.
“Therefore we need to land on a set of rules that allow anyone looking at the rules that allows those who are looking at the sport to come in, so that in the unexpected and hopefully highly unlikely event that they were to leave, the sport needs to go on.
“Ferrari’s a unique case because it’s Ferrari, but we’ve lost BMW, we’ve lost Toyota, we’ve lost Honda before we’ve all seen manufacturers come and go in the sport and it’s always survived. We’ve got to write rules that are best for the sport, not right for today’s manufacturers.”
Brown shares Red Bull team principal Christian Horner’s view that F1’s commercial rights holder needs to work with the governing body to set future regulations that suit the sport itself rather than listening to manufacturers too much.
“I think Liberty needs to do what’s best for the sport, what’s best for the fans. If that means a team, a manufacturer, doesn’t support that then I think they need to be prepared to recognize you’re not going to make everyone happy. Their catering needs to be what’s best for the sport and if someone feels that’s to the detriment of their racing team, then I would rather lose one, replace them and still have 10, than have one or two teams in the championship.”
When it was put to Brown that Ferrari, Mercedes, and Renault all appear to be aligned on their dislike for a simplified V6 turbo engine in future, he added: “I think they’re pretty aligned on the engine side. There’s the engine situation, the revenue situation, the cost cap situation – I don’t think they’re aligned on all three of them.”