F1 'ticking timebomb' now exploding with 2018 dramas - McLaren

Formula 1's 'class split', Force India's near-collapse and Esteban Ocon's uncertain future show an F1 "ticking timebomb" is now exploding, says McLaren CEO Zak Brown

F1 'ticking timebomb' now exploding with 2018 dramas - McLaren

He believes the growing performance gulf between the top three teams and the rest of the grid, plus Force India's recent financial trouble and the danger of rising star Ocon not having a 2019 seat, must encourage F1 owner Liberty Media to push on with its radical '21 revamp.

"We have all seen it coming, and I don't envy what Liberty inherited because this started a while ago," Brown told Autosport.

"Bernie [Ecclestone] had control of it and was keeping it together, but it was a bit of a ticking timebomb, and now some things have exploded.

"I've said this to [Liberty], and it is not nice, but sometimes you need things to actually break to be able to fix them.

"The mortgage crisis, and the financial crisis, are good examples. Banking today is a lot better because of the financial crisis. And anyone in the financial industry knew it was going to eventually break.

"Unfortunately, some of these things that have broken were necessary in order to be able to hit the reset button.

"I have never thought that F1 is too big to fail. But I think the industry as a whole has an arrogance that it will just take care of itself, it always has.

"I can't tell you how many times I have heard 'it will always fix itself'.

"Lehman Brothers went under and that was the start of fixing things [in banking].

"Whether it is a racing team, or a driver who should be in a seat and is going to end up being on the street, those are going to be things that we need to take notice of."

While a major engine rules overhaul for 2021 is looking unlikely because no new manufacturers are interested in joining, Brown hopes that plans for a budget cap and new car regulations do not get watered down.

"They need to get it done this year and we have been talking about it long enough," he said.

"They have got all the right ideas, they have had all the input from the teams, they know where the resistance is - they just need to do it. They own the sport.

"While there are things they cannot do in 2019 and '20 because of the governance, it is a clean sheet of paper in '21, and they just need to do what they say they are going to do, and be hard about it. And if people don't like it, they can leave the sport.

"I do believe Liberty wants to do what is best for the sport, but those teams that have the ability to spend above the budget cap are going to see it as a disadvantage to them.

"But they should have enough confidence in their racing team that they shouldn't have to be dependent upon money to buy their success."

shares
comments
Which Formula 1 races will Channel 4 show in the 2019 season?
Previous article

Which Formula 1 races will Channel 4 show in the 2019 season?

Next article

Minor changes to Singapore Formula 1 track for 2018 grand prix

Minor changes to Singapore Formula 1 track for 2018 grand prix
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022