zak brown f1 mclaren

Brown: We’re living in 2024 not 1984 that means total transparency

zak brown f1 mclaren

McLaren boss Zak Brown called on Formula 1’s governing FIA to be more transparent about its recent investigations, saying the sport would struggle to move on while questions remained unanswered.

The FIA’s ethics committee cleared the governing body’s President Mohammed Ben Sulayem of alleged interference in two races this week, but the FIA provided little detail about the judgements in each case and declined to comment further on them.

The FIA has also been in the spotlight over its recent conflict of interest inquiry into Susie Wolff, who runs the all-female F1 Academy support series. On Wednesday Toto Wolff’s wife launched legal action against the FIA.

Speaking to reporters at the F1 team principals’ press conference in Melbourne, on the opening day of the Australian Grand Prix, Brown said the cases were all very serious situations: “We’re living in 2024, not 1984, that means total transparency.

“I think everyone should welcome transparency. Until all the unanswered questions are answered, people will continue to ask questions, so I don’t think it’s a great situation that we’re in – that we’re three races into the calendar and we’re still talking about these issues,” lamented Brown.

The FIA did not provide immediate comment when contacted by Reuters about Brown’s comments, which came a day after Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton criticised the sport’s authorities for having no accountability when asked about Wolff’s legal action.

The Horner ‘sex-texting’ saga is still dragging on at Red Bull

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner and Geri Horner walk in the Paddock holding hands prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 02, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The new season has also been overshadowed by allegations of misconduct against Christian Horner by a female employee. The Red Bull boss, who denied wrongdoing, was cleared by an independent investigation while the employee was suspended.

Media reported the unidentified woman appealed the outcome and raised an official complaint to the FIA. For now, the sport’s governing body has declined to comment on the reports.

The McLaren CEO acknowledged the role of confidentiality in internal investigations but said people in the sport needed to have confidence in the FIA’s procedures.

“We need to have the confidence that when someone brings forward an issue that we know it’s been looked into independently (and) all parties have been heard,” said Brown, whose team announced on Friday he had extended his CEO contract to 2030.

Brown stopped short of saying he had lost confidence in the FIA’s governance. Other team principals at the press conference gave strong backing to the FIA.

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur said teams had no option but to have confidence in the FIA’s internal investigations: “Don’t ask us to have an opinion on individual cases.” (Reporting by Ian Ransom)