Zak Brown hits out at ‘factually inaccurate’ claim from Red Bull CEO

Sam Cooper
Zak Brown during a Bahrain press conference

Zak Brown took issue with a Red Bull claim that no F1 team is profitable.

Zak Brown has adamantly denied Peter Bayer’s claim that F1 teams are not profitable as he again took aim at Red Bull’s ownership of two constructors.

The subject of one organisation owning two competitors has been one of Brown’s favourite talking points of late with both Red Bull and RB ultimately owned by Red Bull GmbH.

Brown has argued that is not fair, especially when it comes to technical regulation voting, and believes that with a cost cap in place, F1 has moved on from such arrangements.

Zak Brown hits out at Red Bull claim ahead of new season

Having again talked about it during pre-season, the subject of two-team ownership was put to Brown ahead of the opening race in Bahrain and he stated that while he did not have a problem with Red Bull in particular, he believed the sport needed to change the rules.

“First of all, Red Bull has been awesome for Formula 1,” he told media including PlanetF1.com. “I think Formula 1 has been awesome for Red Bull so there’s absolutely no issues there.

“They hold grands prix for us [the Austrian Grand Prix], they have two fantastic teams but I think the sport has moved on in this budget cap era.

“I don’t think we can go well, this happened 15 years ago, and therefore there should be a different playing field if you’d like because of the rules.”

Brown has often said this kind of ownership is unique to Formula 1 but when the fact that multiple football teams can be owned by the same organisation – Red Bull own five teams around the world – Brown said the policing of that was much more strict.

“My issue is the rules,” he continued. “I think the Champions League is a good example. If you look at what happened in the Champions League, it was quite controversial and they had to prove total independence.

“When you have sharing facilities, you watch on Netflix that the Red Bull team principal is making a decision on the driver that’s going in the AlphaTauri.

“When you hear Helmut [Marko] saying we’re going to do everything we can within the rules to bring the two together. When you hear their CEO say we need to use their suspension because that’s the second most important part of the racing car. That doesn’t strike me as being independent at all.

“So I’m much more interested in the independence of the 10 teams than the actual co-ownership itself.”

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But something that appeared to particularly irk Brown was what he claimed was a comment from RB CEO Bayer that no team is profitable, something Brown said he can prove is wrong.

“Their CEO made a comment that no team is profitable, that is factually inaccurate. You can go to Companies House (the register of companies in the UK), the seven teams in the UK, four of them were profitable this past year.

“When I started in Formula 1, we were losing a tremendous amount of money and the combination of the budget cap, which was put in for financial stability, and the hard work of our commercial team, we’re now profitable.

“We’ve come from ninth in the championship when we started and losing a tremendous amount of money to nine podiums last year and being a profitable business for our shareholders.

“It hasn’t been simple but we’ve done it through hard work and I think in any other sport, if you’re in football and there’s a best team and one that’s struggling, the game doesn’t start one nil. It starts nil nil and then you’ve got to work a little bit harder.

“So that’s the issue I have with the rules and I think 2026 is the right time to address them because the sport’s evolved.”

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