Zak Brown Clarifies Dropped Appeal Reasoning

Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren

Earlier this week McLaren’s Zak Brown dropped the teams appeal over the sanctions handed down to Racing Point over the issue surrounding the brake ducts on their 2020 challenger.

During the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, the McLaren boss confirmed his teams positioning, and the reason for the dropped appeal.

McLaren Wanted More Time

As the findings were handed down while the team was at Silverstone, one of the main reasons for lodging an appeal was to allow the team to focus on racing, before digesting everything in the documentation handed down by the FIA.

‘When the verdict came out early in the race weekend in Silverstone, you’re in the middle of preparing to go motor racing, so we don’t have a lot of time to digest the verdict. And so with the intent to appeal – which you have to make pretty quickly – you just buy yourself some more time.

‘There were contradictory statements from what’s been made from Racing Point, from a design, their own IP, etcetera on the brake ducts. The ruling from the FIA, they made some contradictory statements.

‘So we wanted to take some time to understand it and then, over the course of the weekend, had several meetings, lots of discussions with the FIA and they made it clear that, from a bigger picture, we want to make sure that Formula 1 remains a constructors’ championship, as it’s historically been.

‘I think the FIA agrees with that philosophy, as most people do. We just got a lot of confidence that the FIA will ultimately address that issue.

‘Obviously Renault and Ferrari have continued with their appeal, which we respect, and are confident we’ll get the right outcome for the long term.’

Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren (image courtesy Mclaren)
Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren (image courtesy Mclaren)

Mercedes Played No Part In McLaren Decision

When both McLaren, who will run Mercedes engines in 2021, and Williams, running Mercedes engines in 2020 both withdrew their appeals, social media was abuzz with conjecture that the teams had had their hands forced by the Toto Wolff-led Mercedes AMG Petronas outfit, a rumour that Brown was quick to put to bed.

‘I don’t know what drove Williams’ decision.

‘I think I laid out earlier what drove our decision was our being comfortable that the FIA recognises this issue, says they don’t like this issue and they want to change it moving forward.

‘That’s ultimately why we landed on the decision that we did.

‘You’d have to ask Williams what their reason and rationale is.

‘We don’t talk to other racing teams about issues other than with what we have with what’s going on with the Racing Point racing car.

Throughout the press conference, Brown was adamant he would not be pushed into talking about every conversation or meeting about the brake duct issue. From him and his teams perspective, the matter has been put to bed and the team is ready to focus on achieving their 2020 Formula 1 season goals.

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