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McLaren boss Brown voices disbelief at rivals' voting counter-claims

McLaren boss Brown voices disbelief at rivals' voting counter-claims

F1 News

McLaren boss Brown voices disbelief at rivals' voting counter-claims

McLaren boss Brown voices disbelief at rivals' voting counter-claims

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown claims rival teams have been instructed to deny allegations they are pressured into voting in regulations that favour the bigger teams.

In a recent column on the McLaren website, Brown made a number of proposals that he believes will help F1 move forward into the future.

Among his solutions was the introduction of secret ballots in order to prevent customer teams from being used by 'affiliates' to push through rule changes.

Brown's claims of affiliate voting have, however, been denied by various teams, leading to incredulity by the McLaren boss.

“Of course they said that because that is what they were told to say," said Brown.

“One example I will give you is when we were going for the budget cap, the reduction in the budget cap, you had some teams that aren’t close to the budget cap supporting a larger budget cap which makes absolutely no sense.

“I can tell you it happens frequently that teams vote against what is in their best interests.

"I can tell you I have had more than one team on more than one occasion - as we talk during these meetings about how you are going to vote - and I will get a response ‘I’ve got no choice. I have to vote this way’.

“So, it does happen. It does happen frequently."

Under current regulations, teams can request a secret vote but Brown commented "no one tends to call them".

He continued: "I think like many votes around the world, they are always intended to be secret.

“If we can get one or two rules to swing the way of what is in the best interest of the sport and therefore the fans, it is just an area I think we can make improvements on.

“From my first day in Formula 1, I’ve witnessed and experienced this but, of course, everyone is going to say they vote with what is in their best interests.

"I can categorically say no way. Either that or people don’t know what is good for their racing team.”

McLaren switched power unit supplier to Mercedes over the winter but Brown has categorically denied the manufacturer had ever asked him to vote against his will.

As for how Brown's solution differs from the current regulations, it is simply a case of removing the middle man.

"I just think every vote needs to be a secret ballot moving forward," he said.

"Certainly, we will apply that moving forward but I think a team has a right to ask for a secret vote so we can either go down the path, of every single time we have a vote, we can ask for a secret vote or we can just go to secret voting and be done with it.

“I think if you are going to have conflicts of interest in the sport, which we have always had, then you have to set up governance to protect and counter the ability to exercise that conflict of interest.

“I would also like to see the voting go from eight to seven because some people have an alignment of three teams so I would also like to see the threshold dropped a little bit so you couldn’t have a single entity influence a vote.”

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