F1: McLaren threaten to quit if 2021 rules don’t make it a fair fight

Formula 1 bosses will spell out their future vision for the sport on Tuesday when they meet with the ten teams in London.

Owners Liberty Media and the FIA, the global governing body, have plans to reshape F1 from the 2021 season and the BBC reports that the introduction of a budget cap, restructured revenue distribution and new racing regulations will “try to make F1 more competitive”.

The BBC’s Andrew Benson says that Liberty Media wants to “stop F1 being a two-tier sport” where the big three – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – have a “huge performance advantage over the rest”.

Level playing field needed

One team that has major concerns for F1’s future is McLaren – the sport’s second longest-serving outfit on the grid behind Ferrari.

The Guardian reports that Woking-based McLaren have threatened to quit F1 if the 2021 rules and regulations don’t make it fairer for all teams.

Zak Brown, McLaren’s CEO, told the Guardian: “For McLaren it has to tick two boxes: to be financially viable and to be able to fight fairly and competitively.

“If it wasn’t that, we would seriously have to consider our position in F1. That’s not a position we want to be in.

“People throw it out there as a negotiating tactic but this has to be a fiscally responsible, competitive racing team and, if we feel the new rules don’t put us in that situation, we would have to review our participation in F1.”

Brown added: “We need a level playing field, not just for McLaren but for the entire grid. That means fair revenue distribution. I don’t think that means equal.

“Once it is levelled, that should accelerate everyone’s competitiveness. F1 has had dominant periods but a great F1 is no one dominates any more. It might mean a team winning two championships on the trot – not five or six.”

Crunch meeting’s Luke Smith says that Tuesday’s meeting in London will give a “clearer picture what F1’s 2021 world will look like”.

Smith said: “While we have heard many ideas and seen concepts of what form the F1 grid may take in 2021, nothing is for certain.

“At present, none of the teams are signed up to race beyond the end of the 2020 season, and until they know just how the land will lie, planning is proving extremely difficult.

“That is why so much rests on Tuesday’s meeting in London.”

F1 managing director Ross Brawn told the BBC: “Each team has a different set of priorities and we are trying to find our way through it to get the best solution but I can see some genuine progress.”  


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