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McLaren sure Liberty will address rise of 'B-teams' like Haas

Written by  Jan 07, 2019

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes Formula 1 owners Liberty Media are going to look at restricting the appeal of 'B-teams' in the future.

In recent years, midfield outfits have been growing their relationships with the sport's manufacturers by taking on their young drivers and increasing technical co-operation beyond just engine supply.

Haas F1 has been the most prolific example with their very close ties to Ferrari upsetting their rivals who have questioned the legitimacy of their partnership because of the success they have had in a very short time.

"I think Haas has done an excellent, excellent job given their resources and how young the racing team is. You have to admire what they have done," Brown began in his comments quoted by F1i.com.

"[But] I think Liberty are going to address the ‘B-team business model’ because I think it allows the big teams to benefit from the B-team.

"The benefits are everything from technical, to political, to, we’ve seen on track activities this year that people believe were questionable. I think all three of those scenarios is not what Formula 1 is about and need to change for the health of the sport, and I believe they will.

"Liberty have that in their plan, to address B-teams and to what degree you can be a B-team."

The 'questionable' activities Brown refers is the ease with which drivers from Mercedes and Ferrari have been able to overtake their counterparts at teams which enjoy supply deals.

There was even a conspiracy after the Brazilian Grand Prix that Esteban Ocon had taken out Max Verstappen as a favour to Mercedes.

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By following the 'B-team' model, however, the McLaren chief thinks teams like Haas are giving up on hopes of achieving success in F1.

"Our belief is a B-team will never be able to compete with the A-team and therefore, while maybe going to that business model in the very short-term could make you more competitive and be fiscally a better proposition, I think you are giving up on any hopes of racing as a championship contender," Brown noted.

"Therefore, going for B-team status would be throwing in the towel of being a championship contender.

"We think it is critical that Liberty, in the new F1 world, addresses that so all teams can have a fair and equal chance to compete for the championship on a more level playing field."

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