Brown: A B-team cannot compete with the A-team

After the reality check that was the 2018 Formula 1 season for McLaren, the once mighty team toil at the wrong end of the grid while so-called ‘B-teams’ thrive, a fact that troubles team chief Zak Brown.

The bone of contention is the manner in which Haas have made it into Formula 1 thanks to a close collaboration with the Italian team. The American outfit was seen by many as a Ferrari B-team, legal in terms of the rule of law but against the spirit of the sport.

Brown was quick to praise Haas, but at the same seeks clarity from the rule makers,”I think Haas has done an excellent, excellent job given their resources and how young the racing team is. You have to admire what they have done.”

“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. The benefits are everything from technical, to political, to, we’ve seen, on track activities this year 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.”

“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.”

“Therefore, going for B-team status would be throwing in the towel of being a championship contender. 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,” added Brown.

Currently, apart from Haas, Ferrari also share a close connection with their second customer team Sauber. Apart from sister company Alfa Romeo sponsoring the team, they also provide a race seat for Ferrari junior drivers, last year Charles Leclerc and this year Antonio Giovinazzi.

Red Bull have also made no secret they intend to maximise synergies with Toro Rosso within the rules of course but by all accounts an RB14B of sorts.

Mercedes are also closely associated with their customer teams, for instance, Esteban Ocon was placed at Force India in a contra-deal of sorts which lasted until the end of last season. But expect new owner Lawrence Stroll to try and align his Racing Point outfit even closer to the World Champions.

This leaves McLaren solely dependent on Renault who have their own championship ambitions. The partnership could excel if the French manufacturer can find the sweet spot and quite a few more horses in their PU package.

However, anything less than that could see McLaren continue to line up their cars behind those of B-teams, on the grid, for the forseeable future and hence Brown’s concerns.

Big Question: Is the B–team concept bad for Formula 1?