McLaren boss Zak Brown has a strong feeling that Formula 1 will be bracing for a confrontation between Liberty Media and Scuderia Ferrari. Liberty crusade for prize money equity among teams could lead to full-blown conflicts. Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne had long been threatening to quit the sport over the 2021 engine rules. The Fiat-Chrysler manager is of the opinion that the rules are not in the Italian manufacturer’s best interests. This is why Brown believes that a Liberty-Ferrari conflict could be a reality. Liberty Media questioning Ferrari’s $100M annual bonus payout could be the spark that ignites the flames.
Brown said, “A confrontation between Ferrari and Liberty is inevitable. Ferrari wants to protect the money they receive, because they receive a disproportionate amount. We all recognise that Ferrari as a team has added more value to the sport than anyone and should be rewarded accordingly. But I think it is very unbalanced, and that Liberty only wants and has to do the best for the sport.”
A number of teams have criticised Liberty’s lack of transparency with regard to the future of the sport. However, Brown has advised people to be patient, at the same time, he suggested that teams must also take the initiative to solve certain issues.
He said, “I know from my McLaren experience, I’m on top of things now, but it takes you a year minimum to get on top of things and it’s the same for them. F1 is a fast-moving, impatient and unforgiving sport but the teams can’t rely solely on Liberty and F1 to solve all the problems. Yes, there are several challenges but the key is to turn these into opportunities.”.
As the new rules overhaul approaches, the question is, will the Liberty-Ferrari feud threaten the sport in any way? Will Ferrari really quit? Can F1 survived without the oldest team?