Formula 1: Zak Brown joins Abu Dhabi debate and calls for Race Director contact change

zak brown

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has said that he hopes that the incessant contacting of the Race Director from team principals can be reined in for the 2022 Formula 1 season, whilst calling for broadcasts of messages on TV to also be stopped.

The 2021 campaign thrilled and enthralled for its duration but ended on a bit of a sour note with controversy reigning in Abu Dhabi as a final lap sprint after the release of lapped cars between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen behind the Safety Car played out.

Indeed, it allowed Verstappen, on far fresher tyres, to take victory and the championship away from Hamilton, with Lewis leading the entire race before that moment.

During that final lap, we also heard Toto Wolff regularly inundating Race Director Michael Masi with complaints about letting the field go, whilst both key members from Red Bull and Mercedes over the course of the season were regulars on the telephone in the Stewards' room.

Indeed, for the first time, we also heard messages broadcast on TV and, though it gave fascinating insight, Brown has suggested it might be best that that is stopped and that team principals themselves need to have a breather from the messages:

“I’m not a fan, especially with it being broadcast — which Ross [Brawn] has said is no longer going to happen — because you now see some team bosses doing things because the camera’s on them,” Brown stated to RACER.

zak brown

“I think that’s changed people’s behavior, so I’m a supporter of what Ross says, I think that should be behind the scenes.

“Also, you have multiple people at multiple times going to Masi; at our team we have one person that talks to the FIA, that’s it. So you get this piling-on effect. You shouldn’t be able to bend the referee’s ear in the way we can, and then you have multiple people bending the referee’s ear, and then you add live on TV which adds another dimension to it, I don’t think that’s how a sport should be governed.”

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