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Brown: Ferrari is living in denial

NEWS STORY
24/04/2020

Long-time rivals on track, a bitter off-track row is now brewing between McLaren and Ferrari, the two most long-standing teams on the F1 grid.

Just 24 hours after Mattia Binotto warned against the budget cap, almost suggesting that it is being imposed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Zak Brown hit out at the Italian team.

At a time the teams continue to argue over the limit at which the cap should be set, Ferrari, other than believing that the cap should be two-tier, also warns that the cap will compromise the sport's DNA, and though it would consequently need to "look at other further options for deploying (its) racing DNA", the Italian team is positively, totally, 100% not suggesting that it might leave the sport.

Admittedly almost lost for words, Zak Brown, in a video call, told reporters that he is aghast at Ferrari's attitude.

"I'm almost at a loss what you say to that," said the American. "I think we all recognise that in modern times we are going through the biggest crisis the world has seen. You have countries shut down, industries shut down. To not be in a hurry to address what's going on, I think is a critical mistake.

"It's living in denial," he continued, "and I think you would find pretty much every president or prime minister or CEO around the world was operating in a hurry to tackle this issue head-on. To take our time I think is a very poor leadership strategy.

"We are in a situation where if Formula 1 goes by its old habits, we're all at extreme risk for the future of F1," he warned. "And I think if we think forward and get with the times, we can not only survive what's going on right now, but I ultimately think the sport can thrive and we all win.

"I'm all for a good healthy debate," he added. "But I think the comments that I'm being seen put forward don't stack up, contradict themselves, and don't accurately reflect what I think is reality."

Reacting to Binotto's claim that the cap will lead to heavy job losses, which the Italian says his company has an "ethical duty" to avoid, and that companies like his "play a role in the social fabric of a nation" and "are not just there to make a profit", Brown said: "Unfortunately, there's not many teams, if any, turning a profit.

"I don't believe that the people involved in Formula 1 are involved to drive a profit," he continued, "I think they're there to drive franchise value.

"Each team has a different reasons why they're in F1. And a lot of that is to deliver value to other businesses, whether that's in the drinks business or the road car business."

The gloves now off, Brown used Binotto's use of the word "ethics" to refer to the perceived cover-up over the FIA's investigation into Ferrari's 2019 engine.

"Along the line of ethics, I think it would be great if Mattia would share with us what the details were behind the secret agreement that they came to," said the American.

"I think everyone in this sport has a right to be able to be competitive," he added. "I am absolutely not hiding from the fact that part of this process is that people want to be in F1 to be able to compete, to have a chance to win."

Asked about Christian Horner's suggestion that customer cars might be the answer, Brown was not impressed.

"The last time there were customer cars, I believe, was the 1970s," he said, McLaren one of the go-to manufacturers of customer cars at that time. "So, for Formula 1, which is all about being a constructor, I don't see how that potential solution is consistent with other comments that the DNA of F1 is a constructors' championship and technology evolution: that feels like a solution from the '70s."

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1. Posted by mickl, 26/04/2020 23:44

"I guess Insane Reindeer is saying you can only compete if you have an upper hand over your competitors otherwise eff off because you're just being childish and in no way an adult. I mean what's the world coming to if Ferrari isn't instantly handed a 10 point lead at the beginning of the each season and everyone is docked 10 points for having a legal car. I mean we must take away the chapmionship from Brawn and Jenson Button retrospectively and hand it to Ferrari as they clearly didn't spend enough money to justify winning that year. I mean how dare they not spend money.

I guess 2021 rules are only Ferrari cars are allowed into the championship as long as Ferrari agrees to a cost cap of 1m Euro, all to be spent on espresso."

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2. Posted by USA1, 26/04/2020 3:30

"I still say find a good way to check on budget cap and leave everything else open, no regulations just the budget cap, may the best and smartest one win 👍"

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3. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 26/04/2020 2:46

"@Insane Reindeer, Zak Brown is not saying the right to be competitive. He is saying the right to be able to be competitive, which is different.
What I take him to mean is that every team should have the same opportunity in the sport in order to attempt to win.
Currently not all have that opportunity, some of that is down to their own priorities however if the commercial rules are skewed to certain teams then... it isn't the same for everyone.
That was something Liberty said from day one they were going to sort out however they have not done so.
It is not the fault of the big teams (McLaren was one of the top three for many years) that the other teams haven't got their act together to get the resources to compete. It should be the case that the mid-field teams should be able to step up and compete consistently with the top teams rather than drag the top teams down.
Key to this is making sure all the teams have the same opportunity to do that but at the moment with the way the money is dished out, a team needs a huge benefactor to give them just a sniff of a chance.
Think where Red Bull and Mercedes have come from respectively, (Ex Stewart, Jag, Ex, Honda, Brawn) to where they are now."

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4. Posted by Superbird70, 25/04/2020 18:35

"@estoril85 Well said. I would go so far as to add integrated jacks a la Indycar, no barge boards on the bodywork, and only data transfer/communication from the pitwall to the car, no data transfer/communication from the paddock to the mother-ship."

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5. Posted by estoril85, 25/04/2020 9:29

"I doubt that a budget cap could work as the teams will find a way round it. To cut costs ,an easy way would be to cut pit stop personnel to one per corner plus the jack operators, Heck even bring back on board jacks! Take that further to limit pit wall to say 2, board man plus one. Limiting track staff to a set number would also massively cut costs while being easy to police. F1 could provide the hospitality areas with each team having its own space, massively cutting costs of team marquees. No reason why there can't be a standard tub to FIA specification that the teams our base from an approved supplier and as the late great Harvey Postlethwaite advocated, divide the car into boxes where you say have a standard front and rear wing and be able to develop freely the other areas. You will never stop the manufacturer teams spending money and hiding it elsewhere so the FIA need to look at things it can police effectively ."

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6. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 24/04/2020 19:35

"How much of Ferrari's current F1 budget is on salary? "

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7. Posted by The Canadian, 24/04/2020 15:52

"@Insane Reindeer, yeesh. Where do I start? No point so I won't... In the meantime, enjoy your fantasy of "no cap" racing, cause that will eventually drive the sport to bankruptcy as fans continue to turn away from races whose results are already pre-determined. Hamilton can do his hair and prance around any way he likes like a prima dona. But Put him in a slower car - like a Minardi from 10 years ago for example- and he'd be forgotten and gone by now. Sad, but probably true. This sport is fixable, but what they're doing now isn't working."

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8. Posted by Superbird70, 24/04/2020 14:51

"@Insane Reindeer. Wow!! Where did the millennial thing come from? Starting to sound like a boomer. (full disclosure I am one). Have a couple espresso and a biscotti. F1 as we know it now, is done."

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9. Posted by rtw1951, 24/04/2020 14:35

"You are one insane reindeer."

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10. Posted by Insane Reindeer, 24/04/2020 12:05

"Ron Dennis, please come back! I, for one, didn't want you to leave in the first place.

""I think everyone in this sport has a right to be able to be competitive," he added. "I am absolutely not hiding from the fact that part of this process is that people want to be in F1 to be able to compete, to have a chance to win."" If Zak Brown was 25 years younger this sort of language would be jumped all over as "millennial entitlement" in most pathetic form.* But because it comes from the head of McLaren its totally sodding ignored. No, Zak, no one in F1 has the "right to be able to be competitive". No. One. Not know and not ever. If you don't like it then get out. Just quit. Walk away. And let McLaren be run by someone who understands that to be competitive means spending more money than everyone else on the best talent possible. From the chef's to the the truck cleaners. From the motor home builders to the drivers. Asking everyone to "spend" at your level just so that "everyone" is equal is not what F1 is about.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out Mr. Brown. Take this whole "budget cap" crap with you too.

"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Harry S. Truman

*Personally I think that anyone complaining about millennials should just stop. Take a minute. An realise that every generation ever complained in one way or another about their prospects. Also realise that because of the way the "older generations" have consistently gamed the system to make it easier for them those complaining now have lots of valid points. "

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