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Brown questions "unhealthy" team alliances

NEWS STORY
29/04/2021

McLaren boss, Zak Brown warns that team alliances are unhealthy for the sport and not in the best interest of competition, especially at a time F1 is striving to level the playing field.

In an open letter to the sport, McLaren boss, Zak Brown admits that in the years ahead the sport must address a number of issues, including sustainability and societal issues.

However, the American also questions the governance of the sport, and team alliances, insisting that such partnerships are unhealthy for the sport and not in the best interest of competition, this at a time F1 is striving to level the playing field.

"The rise of team affiliations has become unhealthy for our sport," he writes. "It is not in the best interests of competition if two rivals, or even three, share assets and align strategically.

"One of the fundamental principles of Formula 1, as opposed to other one-make racing series, is an open competition between constructors," he insists.

"I do not wish to see the number of teams in F1 reduce, but team affiliations remain an issue because they do not promote a level playing field. This is where further changes need to be made to the governance of Formula 1.

"There have always been conflicts of interest in Formula 1 and it's unlikely to change anytime soon, so it's even more important that F1 and the FIA, who have no other agenda than the whole sport's success, call the shots in the best interests in F1 and not be blocked and slowed at every turn.

"Currently, decisions about the future of the sport can be halted by a minority, rather than majority, and they are further skewed by some teams' voting power being in favour of their affiliated team partner.

Without naming names - does he need to? He continues: "There have even been instances when an affiliated team, to satisfy its bigger partner, has voted in favour of a clear disadvantage to itself. This isn't sport. This isn't putting the fans first. It is a situation that must be addressed and so we call for secret ballot voting to be implemented in all F1 Commission meetings with immediate effect.

"In other sports the regulatory body has the power of governance because they always focus on what is in the best interests of the sport overall, which should be the key consideration in Formula 1. With a change in the voting procedures, it could lead to more agile decision-making that would ultimately benefit the interests of the fans and in doing so the sport at large, including the participants."

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