Brown: I didn't mention teams, just volunteered our opinion

Brown: I didn’t mention any teams, just volunteered our opinion

Brown: I didn't mention teams, just volunteered our opinion

Zak Brown, McLaren CEO, defended the letter he sent to the FIA urging them to consider any cost cap breach as cheating, saying he didn’t mention any teams, but rather presented an opinion.

The subject of Red Bull’s cost cap breach is still stirring up controversy within the Formula 1 paddock, as the team and the FIA continue their discussions without any final outcome yet.

In what could be one of the most strained press conferences, Christian and Horner and Zak Brown faced off on Saturday in Austin amid the latter’s letter to the FIA insinuating the former’s team had cheated and should be heavily punished.

Horner staunchly defended his team’s position, while blasting Brown and other rivals for the abuse the have subjected the Milton Keynes outfit to.

The letter was a general response

Asked to comment about Horner’s statement and McLaren’s letter, Brown said: “Look, my letter set out that I think if someone – a team – spends more than the cap, they’re going to get an advantage. And the cap is a rule, no different than the technical rules in the sport.

“We’re not taking a view whether they did or didn’t,” he added. “My letter was: if someone has, then here are the things that we think should be addressed. No different than if a ride height is incorrect, or a flexi wing, or whatever the case may be.

“So I didn’t mention any teams,” Brown maintained. “It was a general response. Now that we are into the cost cap era, if someone breaches that, here’s what we think some of the ramifications are.

“I have no idea what the number is, I know none of the details. If we had more money to spend, that would put us in a better light and performance, more people, more upgrades, whatever the case may be.

“So, we feel it’s a performance benefit if someone has spent more than the allocated cost cap, that is up to the FIA to determine whether they have or haven’t,” the American insisted.

McLaren just volunteering their opinion

Quizzed further regarding his letter, Brown treaded a fine line adamant he has trust in the FIA to handle the matter properly, and that McLaren were merely offering their opinion, nothing more.

“I think we have a lot of trust in the FIA,” he said. “All we were doing was volunteering our opinion for them to take into consideration.

“I think it has been a transparent process so far, in that, you know, certificates were going to be issued, then it was delayed, but they communicated it was going to be delayed, they’ve communicated who’s received, who hasn’t, who had procedural,” he explained.

“And I don’t think it’s right, that it’s, you know… It shouldn’t be a public hearing. And I’ve got a lot of confidence that it will be transparent at the end.

“So I think we need to let the process play out. And only then can you really take a view on what you think of the process. But I think so far it’s gone according to how they laid out what the process would be,” he concluded.