McLaren boss Zak Brown says that if Formula 1’s 2021 regulations don’t ensure a financially viable environment and a level playing field, the Woking-based outfit could leave Grand Prix racing.
Ahead of Tuesday’s all-important F1 Commission and Strategy Group meetings in London, several team bosses have expressed their views on what they hope to see from Liberty Media when it tables its comprehensive package of technical and commercial proposals for 2021.
Haas’ Guenther Steiner is expecting clarity on the future while Mercedes’ Toto Wolff is confident that cost cutting measures capped at a reasonable level will be introduced.
As for McLaren’s Brown, the American has underlined two conditions he hopes the future regulation platform will offer and that will ensure his team’s long-term presence in the sport.
“For McLaren it has to tick two boxes: to be financially viable and to be able to fight fairly and competitively,” Brown told the Guardian.
“If it wasn’t that, we would seriously have to consider our position in F1. That’s not a position we want to be in.
“People throw it out there as a negotiating tactic but this has to be a fiscally responsible, competitive racing team and, if we feel the new rules don’t put us in that situation, we would have to review our participation in F1.”
Along with Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, McLaren is the recipient of a ‘Constructors Championship Bonus’ payment. Despite that privilege, Brown believes that F1’s revenue distribution scheme should better enhance a team’s performance merits rather than its heritage.
“Revenue distribution should be more balanced, should be performance oriented,” he added.
“To a lesser degree than today there should be recognition for your history.
“We all agree Ferrari is the biggest name and should be remunerated as such but not at the level that it is and you also should not be able to put that money into the racing.
“Once it is levelled, that should accelerate everyone’s competitiveness.
“F1 has had dominant periods but a great F1 is no one dominates any more. It might mean a team winning two Championships on the trot – not five or six.”
A June deadline freezing Formula 1’s rules for 2021 will soon be looming, leaving little time for further discussions between all engaged parties. But at the end of the day, Brown is confident that a consensus will have emerged between the teams.
“I am optimistic that everyone will participate,” said the McLaren boss.
“There will be fireworks between now and then. It’s a negotiation but I am optimistic F1 will do the right things and sign up all 10 teams and we will have a much better, more competitive F1 from 2021 onward.”
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