McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown wants Liberty Media to reduce the desirability of the B-team model in Formula 1 by ensuring there is a greater chance for all constructors to win.
F1’s newest team Haas formed a close technical partnership with Ferrari, purchasing as much as it is allowed to from the Italian constructor under the current rules. That led to an extremely competitive start to its time in the sport compared to other new entrants, with Haas comfortably beating McLaren for fifth in the constructors’ championship in only its third season in 2018.
While Brown praises Haas for taking advantage of the regulations, he says Liberty must make sure the sport’s future regulations make it more attractive for teams to chase outright success, with the top three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull currently enjoying a clear advantage over the rest.
“Let me start by saying I think Haas has done an excellent, excellent job given their resources and how young the racing team is,” Brown said. “You have to admire what they have done, but I think Liberty are going to address the ‘B-team business model’ because I think it allows the big teams to benefit from the B-team and that benefits everything from technical, to political, to, we’ve seen, on-track activities that people believe were questionable.
“I think all three of those scenarios is not what Formula 1 is about and need to change for the health of the sport, and I believe they will. Liberty have that in their plan, to address B-teams and to what degree you can be a B-team.
“I think Haas has done a very good job working within the rules that exist in Formula 1 today. However, our belief is a B-team will never be able to compete with the A-team and therefore while maybe going to that business model in the very short-term could make you more competitive quicker and be fiscally a better proposition, I think you are giving up on any hopes of racing as a championship contender.
“That is McLaren’s intent and therefore going for B-team status would be throwing in the towel of being a championship contender, and therefore we think it is critical that Liberty, in the new Formula 1 world, addresses that so all teams can have a fair and equal chance to compete for the championship on a more level playing field. I believe that’s what Chase [Carey] will go through with.”
Liberty is attempting to change the way revenues are distributed within the sport as well as introducing a budget cap as part of negotiations over new commercial agreements with the teams starting in 2021.