Zak Brown says the Abu Dhabi GP is a symptom of a larger issue

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

McLaren CEO Zak Brown agrees “a different decision could have been made” in Abu Dhabi, but that race was just one of many incidents.

The FIA is currently performing an investigation into the controversial decisions that have been made at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which influenced the outcome of the 2021 championship.

McLaren’s Zak Brown says the this particular race is just a symptom of a larger issue in Formula 1.

“We can be focused on Abu Dhabi but if we look at the last couple of years at the variety of incidents, Abu Dhabi is just one of them,” Brown said at a press conference.

“And let’s not forget that the teams had a big say in how the sport is policed.”

Brown agrees that the way the sporting side of Formula 1 is being run at the moment needs to change.

“It is clear that some of the rules and their governance are not acceptable as things stand.

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“No one is happy with the inconsistency in the policing of the regulations, but which has been habitually exploited by teams for competitive advantage.

“I have said before that the teams have too much power and it needs to be reduced. We have a significant role in the drafting of the regulations and governance of Formula 1 and that influence is not always driven by what is best overall for the sport.

“Yes, teams should be consulted, and their informed perspectives considered, particularly on long-term strategic issues. But at times it has seemed the sport is governed by certain teams.

“Let us not forget that we, the teams, have contributed to the inconsistencies in the policing of the regulations as much as anyone.”

He then goes on to explain how the teams often tried to interfere with impartial decision-making.

“It is the teams who applied the pressure to avoid finishing races under a Safety Car at all costs. It is the teams who voted for many of the regulations they have complained about.

“It is the eams who have been using the broadcasting of radio messages to the Race Director to try to influence penalties and race outcomes, to the point where an over-excited Team Principal plays to the gallery and pressurises race officials.

“This has not been edifying for F1. At times it’s felt like a pantomime audition rather than the pinnacle of a global sport.”

However, Drown doesn’t think the decisions made in Abu Dhabi were “corrupt”, but he does agree they could have been wrong.

“For those that might have a view of ‘the sport’s corrupt etc’, I don’t agree with that. Do I think potentially a different decision could have been made? Yes, probably.

“I want to wait to see what the FIA comes out with but I don’t think it was malicious and therefore I don’t think it’s corrupt,” concluded the McLaren boss.

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