Brown applauds Liberty, FIA handling of crisis

Michelle Foster
Zak Brown

Zak Brown targets F1, IndyCar and Le Mans titles with McLaren in next 20 years.

Formula 1 is going through a crisis, however, Zak Brown says he has been impressed with how Liberty Media and the FIA have stepped up.

It has been seven weeks since Formula 1 was scheduled to race in Australia only for the grand prix to be called off after McLaren withdrew when a team member tested positive.

The list of races cancelled is up to three while seven others have been postponed.

The hiatus is costing the teams millions despite factories being shut down and team members, at least those in the UK, placed on furlough.

It is estimated that teams are losing $2m for every race missed, putting many of them in financial trouble.

Liberty Media has already taken steps to help out.

Brown told Autosport: “They continue to pay us. They’ve assisted some teams, I’m not exactly sure which teams, but I think that’s good because all the teams might need eventually some help.

“I think they’re doing everything they can to get us back to going racing, which protects us economically.”

But it is not just Liberty Media who has stepped up.

Brown reckons the FIA and president Jean Todt have also done themselves proud by insisting that Formula 1 cannot continue with its current spending.

Todt has been one of the main advocates in ensuring the budget cap has been reduced from $175m to $145m for the 2021 season.

He has also made it clear that while what would have been the new 2021 rules have been deferred to 2022, he won’t delay them a further season.

“I’m very impressed with Jean,” the McLaren chief added.

“They’re making good decisions, good recommendations and Jean, in particular, is pushing very hard on the budget cap.

“It’s needed, and it was needed before this.

“As long as we all handle it [the crisis] well and lean into the problem and not run from the problem, then I think there’s opportunity.

“I think it’s danger if we put our head in the sand, if we just kind of assume everything will sort itself out. That’s dangerous.”

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