Zak Brown, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2016

Prize money gap “unhealthy for all of us” – Brown

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In the round-up: McLaren’s Zak Brown says the large gap in prize money between the top teams and those at the back is unhealthy for the sport.

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  • 37 comments on “Prize money gap “unhealthy for all of us” – Brown”

    1. I can bet his face at the picture above represents the excited-ness of the changes.

      I know what I find exciting, and that is Alonso fighting for the title, even in a dull looking car.
      Alonso trundling around in 5th place, in a flashy looking car, not that exciting.

      1. Mclaren going orange could attract more sponsors because their car would a standout. Especially in the first year.

        Brown wont deliver a title sponsor this year, but he may deliver a few smaller ones, and going to an orange based livery could be the answer.

        1. @jaymenon10 I think despite Renault also running BP/Castrol, McLaren maybe going for original colours. White and green or perhaps more Castrol Honda superbike with a sprinkle of red.

          1. @peartree

            Didnt we get told that there is no or little financial benefit to Mclaren from the Castrol deal? Its supposed to a “technical partnership” right?

            So I doubt BP/Castrol will get dibs on livery!

            1. @jaymenon10 Sure, that’s what has been on the rounds. I just think that orange is too close to red for marketing reasons. I think it’s bad marketing from Brown to allow McLaren to stay on the grey scale, too many cars are grey not graphite but still…, for instances none is green car or purple or pink. Sauber by losing Banco do Brasil ought to join the gaggle of dull liveries, Renault might go yellow-greenish. I just think, long shot… that Honda and Castrol have always had great liveries, but unless there’s money in it, you are right.

            2. @peartree

              I’m hoping the livery will be orange, simply because it will help ease the pain when they’re fighting for 10th place with Ferrari…haha

        2. @jaymenon10

          I think the lack of sponsorships are the least of Mclaren’s problems. I really don’t see their budgets holding them back in anyway. What they need to fix in order of priority are –
          1) The massive engine deficit to Mercedes – Either get Honda to get their act together, or just go back to being Mercedes customer until they find a new engine partner
          2) Attract new engineering talent – All of Mclaren’s key personnel have left them over the years – Pat Fry, Paddy Lowe, Dave Ryan.. and above all else Ron Dennis. The only person they have attracted is Prodmorou, who hasn’t delivered so far.

          Surprisingly, Mclaren’s solution for all of the above seems to be an orange livery. Which shows just how off target the new leadership at McLaren really is.

          1. @todfod

            I have faith in Zak Brown’s ability to keep the ship going in the right direction and if an orange livery is a start, then so be it. However, if Mclaren fail to progress performance wise this year, I think serious questions must be asked of Eric Boullier, but lets hope it doesnt come to that.

            On the talent front, in a way, I’d like to think that they’ve just gone about their business with little fan fare, which could be a good thing, providing they bloody progress in the right direction!

            With respect to Honda, I feel 2 things will aid them significantly. The fact that they’ve realised their flawed turbo concept is a very goods sign. What we’ve heard so far is that they will adapting a more conventional split turbo. Secondly, the removal of the token system will be a big help. You can be assured that they will be all hands on deck at Sakura for the foreseeable future. I think only Ferrari will be a match to Honda with regards to the amount of resource they’d be able to expend.

          2. @todfod

            Either get Honda to get their act together, or just go back to being Mercedes customer until they find a new engine partner

            Mercedes’ engine customers are no more competitive now than they were in 2014 – in fact they’re further away. Bespoke engines have to be the way to go.

            1. @keithcollantine, but how much of that is down to the teams being engine customers and how much of that is down to other factors?

              In the case of Williams, for example, ever since 2014 they have been working with a chassis philosophy that they admitted had fundamental design flaws built into it (Bottas has mentioned how their cars through that era have suffered from problems with the aero balance being out of kilter) because they would lose more ground trying to restart from scratch than trying to work around the flaws in their design.

              Irrespective of the engine they put in the back of that car, they’ve introduced a lot of concepts in recent years that have been utter failures – they tried an ultra-lowline gearbox a few years ago that proved to be a disaster (the casing had insufficient torsional stiffness, causing major handling problems), there have been aero correlation issues that were still prevalent last year, instability under braking.
              The team have had a lot of self inflicted issues over the years that would have been occurring irrespective of their engine supplier – a bespoke engine won’t help you if your rear suspension pick up points are being distorted out of position because you misjudged the suspension loads and the required torsional stiffness parameters of the gearbox they are attached to.

          3. @jaymenon10 I’d love orange too, the teaser on their twitter appears to end this conversation, even if today it is official that McLaren is running BP/Castrol.
            @todfod Honda is as far away as McLaren is. I think McLaren are right to believe they need not be a costumer team. I agree that McLaren haven’t enlisted talented people to their team, on the other hand RBR seems to have a flawless team, more flawless than Ron’s spotless HQ, I think it’s impossible to produce a better aero/chassis package than RB.
            I think the coup on McLaren is irrelevant, probably they’ll go quicker considering the increasing costs.

        3. “Mclaren going orange could attract more sponsors because their car would a standout.”

          McLaren going faster could attract even more sponsors, because their car would stand out even more by finishing on the podium, than finishing 10th in an orange livery.

      2. yeah, as mclaren fan, i’m finding harder and harder to get excited for 2017: they seem to have absolutely no clue on where to go from here and they keep announcing things just to keep their name on the media.

        even the likely orange car (which i’m sure it will look great!) feels now like a cheap shot against ron’s legacy…

        1. You can see Zak Brown’s marketing mettle in the title for that McLaren article. It somehow signifies that McLaren are changing, evolving and improving for the 2017 challenge. When you read the article, it only talks about more senior staff that are leaving the team. It’s really depressing to see the direction McLaren are going in… and I would be surprised if Alonso doesn’t want to leave the team after the pre season tests itself.

      3. Mclaren need to just shut up. How often have we heard “this year will be better.” Has it really got better. Is Mclaren finishing 7th better? Stop overhyping it. I’m sick of hearing it. Mclaren are in a mess.

    2. Narain is right, Bernie has made F1 what it is, pity. Had Bernie not been so greedy but managed F1 for the benefit of F1 (not himself) he could still be a very,very, wealthy man and the teams could all have a decent income to work with, and F1 could still be accessible to fans on FTA TV.

    3. Why do I get the feeling Zac Browns takeover of McLaren is more about Zac Brown than McLaren?

      1. ExcitedAbout17
        10th February 2017, 8:32

        Maybe he just wants some attention so people start spelling his name correctly.

        1. Tommy Scragend
          10th February 2017, 9:59

          Good publicity for his band though.

        2. He should’ve spelt it right in the first place.

    4. The new owners have no racing feeling – they just want to make money

      Hilarious :’D

      1. came here to comment on that.

        Oh, the irony

      2. ExcitedAbout17
        10th February 2017, 8:29

        Oh those old days with owners who had racing in their blood like CVC, or those who altruistically fought for the betterment of all involved like Ecclestone.

      3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        10th February 2017, 10:43

        Same lol. CVC were chock-full of racing feeling

      4. I know , right? What a stupid thing for Wili Webber to say.

    5. Zack Browne is right. It’s especially bad for teams who have run awful cars for four seasons and show little sign of improvement. But then, not all teams have lack of resources as an excuse….

      1. McLaren has seen an embarissing exodus of sponsors in the last few seasons (some left the sport but others flatout moved to more succesfull teams, even after decades of partnership). Then there’s also the lack of a title sponsor since Vodaphone left them and the deminishing income from price money due to a lack of succes.

        Brown recently said that getting a new title sponsor is now “critical” for 2018 to McLaren (I think I heard it on the podcast). I don’t know what he means exactly by ‘critical’ but McLaren could be enroute to a perpetual midfield team like Williams is possible if they keep this up for another half a decade.

        1. Enroute? Or you mean already there? Williams raised their game and McLaren lost their game putting them in midfield.

          We will see who midfield is in 2017. But really if last 5 years are any indication… McLaren will be right there.

    6. Have we really gotten to the stage of the off season where we are reading about things Willi Weber and Narain Karthikayan have said….man we need these new cars to make an appearance pronto!

      1. The off season is 4 months long…. (last week of november to last week of march)

        Imho winter testing should start a month earlier (in Qatar or Malaysia like Moto GP) and Feb-March is summer in the Asia-PAC so starting the season earlier is no problem either. Plus it will create room in the calander for 25 races.

      2. @geemac I particularly liked what Karthikayan said. He is unsure about the post-Ecclestone era, and starts by saying that is a shame that he is gone, after enumerates all the problems (in his opinion) that F1 is going trough, and uses this as an argument for the future.

        How on earth were those problems created by the current management? And how come do you say it is a shame that the person that helped create those problems is no longer in charger?

        Logic, who needs right?

    7. Brown is probably saying it’s bad because of how much more certain teams get (Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes) than McLaren.

      Wonder if he’d hold the same view if his team were at the high end of the bonus payments…

    8. Zak Brown is a very astute man- prize money gap is very bad for our sport !!!
      Time for change………….

    9. Zak Brown’s comments have proved that Ron Dennis has left the building. It makes me wonder how much money did McLaren lose in those recent seasons when they had no team title sponsor and the team’s present financial state now. At least he acknowledges the loss of small teams like Manor are not good for the sport.

    10. If they want a good paint job, they should make the cars like in one of the pictures i’ve seen here on the site; it was from a test session, black car with bright green flow viz paint.

      1. Memory tricked me; it was more red than green but still i think it looked awesome

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