McLaren boss Zak Brown says that Formula 1 is preparing for a big confrontation this year between Liberty Media and Scuderia Ferrari.
As Liberty tackles the thorny issue of prize money, its quest for equity among teams and a fairer distribution of the sport’s revenue could see a few flash points turn into full-blown conflicts. Last year, Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne threatened to quit the sport over its future engine rules from 2021 which the Fiat Chrysler manager believes do not cater to the Italian manufacturer’s interests.
But the prospect of Liberty Media calling into question Ferrari’s $100M annual bonus payout could massively escalate tensions between both parties.
A confrontation between Ferrari and Liberty is inevitable,” ZakbBrown told AS newspaper – “Ferrari wants to protect the money they receive, because they receive a disproportionate amount. We all recognise that Ferrari as a team has added more value to the sport than anyone and should be rewarded accordingly. But I think it is very unbalanced, and that Liberty only wants and has to do the best for the sport,” he added.
While many teams have been critical of Liberty’s lack of transparency regarding the future, Brown advocates patience while also suggesting that teams must also take it upon themselves to solve certain issues.
“I know from my McLaren experience, I’m on top of things now, but it takes you a year minimum to get on top of things and it’s the same for them. F1 is a fast-moving, impatient and unforgiving sport but the teams can’t rely solely on Liberty and F1 to solve all the problems. Yes, there are several challenges but the key is to turn these into opportunities.” – he concluded.