McLaren boss Zak Brown has said that Formula One must minimise the potential political turbulence caused by the ongoing discussions about the 2021 rules. Liberty Media enters its second season in charge of the sport. They are facing a number of questions about the long-term future of the sport. They have been tackling the issue by making smaller changes, but are yet to reach the bigger issues.
Ferrari, who are one of the teams unhappy with the change, threatened to quit the championship. The Italian marquee had certain doubts regarding Liberty’s first engine blueprint last season. Now, Brown says F1 cannot afford have a political stand-off dominate the headlines.
He said, “It’s definitely going to be turbulent, the negotiations for 2021 and beyond. I think they’re doing all the right things commercially — they’re gonna make some mistakes along the way but it would be unfair to think they will to score a 10/10 on everything. They’re going to learn but I’m happy with all the efforts and incremental things they’re trying.”
He believes that the FIA and Liberty need to move quickly so that negotiations can end quickly and a solution can be reached. Any sort of conflict will be turbulent and the longer that goes the more disruptive it becomes. The teams also need to be fully prepared for the 2021 season. If new manufacturers and teams join the sport, everyone knows that it takes a couple of years to adjust. Brown hopes that things will be clearer by the middle of this season.
Mercedes and Renault have backed Ferrari’s stance on the original engine proposal. But where they disagree on is a future cost cap and redistribution of revenues. Teams like McLaren and Red Bull also hold strong views on the direction of F1 management. This complicates the issue further as the teams are involved in F1’s decision-making process. Brown thinks Liberty and the FIA need to be clearer in explaining the finer details of its vision if it wants manufacturers and teams to converge on a set of ideas.
He continued, “I think Liberty has articulated to the teams where they want to go, not in total specificity but directionally. It’s engine, it’s cost cap, and it’s revenue distribution — those are the three things we’ve all known about. They’ve not put on the table what the revenue distribution will look like other than that it will go from here to here.”