McLaren urges F1 not to cave in to Ferrari, Mercedes demands

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McLaren boss Zak Brown says Formula One management cannot afford to bow to the wishes of existing manufacturers like Ferrari and Mercedes when deciding the next set of regulations.

Last year Ferrari threatened to quit F1 when new owners Liberty Media presented the first post-2020 engine proposal. F1 and the FIA want to make the next set of rules more appealing for new manufacturers to join while also driving down supply costs, but Mercedes and Renault have also voiced concerns over the direction outlined in the original blueprint.

Brown doubts Ferrari would ever follow through with its threat and believes F1 must stay strong in its vision for the future.

"I think that's highly unlikely but I think anything is possible," he said about the possibility of Ferrari or Mercedes walking away from the championship. "Therefore we need to land on a set of rules that allow anyone looking at the rules that allows those who are looking at the sport to come in, so that in the unexpected and hopefully highly unlikely that they were to leave, the sport needs to go on.

"Ferrari's a unique case because it's Ferrari, but we've lost BMW, we've lost Toyota, we've lost Honda before we've all seen manufacturers come and go in the sport and it's always survived. We've got to write rules that are best for the sport, not right for today's manufacturers."

He added: "If that means a team, a manufacturer, doesn't support that then I think they need to be prepared to recognise you're not going to make everyone happy. Their catering needs to be what's best for the sport and if someone feels that's to the detriment of their racing team then I would rather lose one, replace them and [still] have 10, than have one or two teams in the championship."

Though rivals on the track, Ferrari and Mercedes have been aligned in their stance regarding the three key areas Liberty hopes to address -- engines, revenue distribution and the implementation of a cost cap.

Brown was also asked if he felt there was a compelling argument that would convince Ferrari and Mercedes to come around to Liberty Media's way of thinking, to which he smiled and said: "I've not seen it yet!

"If you're Ferrari and Mercedes, especially Mercedes dominating the sport, you've got all the revenue. On one hand I understand why they want to protect that position. I think we've got to ask ourselves if Mercedes wins seven championships in a row, how's that going to impact the sport and is that healthy for anyone in the sport. Under the current regulations, current spend, you've got to say they're odds on favourite to win the next three years.

"We've got a chance to course-correct what 2021 looks like but we need to do that now as I think Formula One will be much more entertaining -- and therefore much more valuable to all of us -- if we have four, five, six teams winning races and have a chance at a championship. That will ultimately be healthier and I don't think Mercedes gets any more credit for winning 15 races and winning the championship or winning five races and winning the championship. That will make the championship more entertaining than it is today."