McLaren chief Zak Brown has been a firm ally of Liberty Media since they took over the reigns of Formula 1 last year, but even his patience is running thin as he backed Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne’s call for clarity on the future of Formula 1 as soon as possible.
Brown told reporters in Barcelona, “I agree with Sergio Marchionne, who is vocal at this time: we need to see the vision put on paper to the teams.”
The Ferrari big boss has been the most vocal critic of the sport’s new regime and has made no secret of the fact that he will pull the legendary Italian team out of Formula 1 if the vision changes the traditions and ethos of Formula 1.
Although Brown has been low key with regards to the matter, now he clearly expects Liberty to deliver a road-map of sorts, “I think this year is a very important year.”
“Along with the FIA, there is a lot of conversation that Liberty needs to do. The FIA is their partner in the future of Formula 1, and I think we need to quickly see them put on the table.”
Brown cites the need for teams to be ready for the expected rule changes set to kick in in 2021, “We as McLaren need to have – as does any business – a five or 10-year business plan.”
“2021 is around the corner and the teams agree with the strategic direction of the conversation of getting costs under control, and getting a more balanced engine.”
Brown also hinted, perhaps inadvertently, that he may be gravitating towards the Marchionne camp with regards to what the pinnacle of the sport should be when he said, “We also want to continue to be leading edge technology in motorsport.”
Marchionne said earlier this week, “In an ideal world, I would imagine Formula 1 with control tyres along with set engine specifications and for everything else I would free up the rules.”
With regards to the urgency, Brown explained, “In the first half of [this] year we need to have 2021 locked down because the big teams, such as ourselves, are going to need to adapt to these potential new rules and that takes time.
“We are very keen to see their vision put on paper and put in front of us and that needs to happen very quickly. We need to know what we are doing on engines kind of now.”
“The FIA has put out the regulations, but I don’t think there has been closure on that. The FIA needs to move to bring clarity to that so everyone can react accordingly.”
“In my conversations with Sergio and Toto [Wolff, Mercedes boss], there is a lot of alignment and agreement on the future direction of the sport.”
“There may be some differences of opinions about how you land on those conclusions, but we need to see something definitely put on the table to give us something all to react to,” added the McLaren chief.