Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

There’s no ‘big four’ F1 teams, it’s Red Bull then the rest – Brown

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In the round-up: McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says the competition in Formula 1 is wide open behind runaway leaders Red Bull.

In brief

Red Bull’s rivals need to “make it a 10-team show”

Brown says the 2023 season has begun with a significant shake-up in the competitive order. “You used to have a front, mid- and back-field,” he said during yesterday’s FIA press conference in Miami. There’s no longer a back field and really I wouldn’t even say it’s the ‘big four’, it’s Red Bull and kind of everybody else.

“The two-three-four are there but you’re seeing all of us mixing it up with them in qualifying. So while they definitely have what appears to be quicker cars I think they’re within reach for all of us.”

He believes the current driver line-up is the strongest he’s seen since his involvement in the team began in 2016.

“One of the things that the cost cap was intended to do was to level the playing field,” he said. “I think everybody is pretty much running at maximum budget.

“The driver line-ups are the best I’ve ever seen in Formula 1. I think what you see is an unbelievably condensed field and hopefully the nine of us can all pick it up a little bit so we can make it a 10-team show.”

F1 revenue rises to $381m in first quarter of 2023

Formula 1 reported income of $35 million (£27.6m) over the first three months of 2023, a 2.9% increase year-on-year over the quarter which is always its quietest due to the lack of races: Just two were held during that time. Its revenue grew to $381m and teams received $112m from the commercial rights holder.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the season was “off to a fantastic start, with thrilling races to date.” He added there are already “sell-out [crowds] for the majority of the remaining calendar.”

Steiner praises paddock move to football field

F1 paddock in the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami International Autodrome, 2023
Steiner rates Miami’s new F1 paddock
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says that Miami Grand Prix organisers have made the right move by relocating the paddock and team hospitality to the football field in Hard Rock Stadium.

“I think a big step forward,” Steiner said. “Last year it was very difficult to move around between one and the other places. I think it’s a lot neater like this way. I think this thing is quite nice, it’s cool.

“I think people can see that we use a facility which is here anyway, which is good. And obviously the connection with the NFL team is also nice.”

Alpine junior Martins to get first F1 test at Monza

Alpine junior driver Victor Martins, who is currently competing in Formula 2, will get to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time during a private test of the team’s 2021 car at Monza next week.

The reigning FIA F3 champion will join fellow F2 racer Jack Doohan at the Italian circuit on Monday to run the first day of a two day test.

“I am super excited to get my first taste in a Formula 1 car in Monza on Monday,” said Martins. “It will be the first time I will work closely with the Alpine team at a track and to be able to have my first opportunity in an F1 car with them is pretty special.”

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Comment of the day

With Carlos Sainz Jnr claiming that his disappointing pace in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was an “off weekend”, @phil-f1-21 argues that Sainz might already be an effective number two driver at Ferrari…

Only maybe two/three years ago people were bigging-up Sainz like he was going to be future champion. I have never seen much to indicate to me that he is more than average. I mean I don’t think he’s a poor driver but unless he lucks into something by accident, he’s never going to be a world drivers championship challenger.

Maybe Ferrari ought to subtly manage him more like a number two driver. Maybe they already do?
Phil Norman

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Brakius and Elly Parker!

On this day in motorsport

  • 45 years ago today Carlos Reutemann put his Ferrari on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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23 comments on “There’s no ‘big four’ F1 teams, it’s Red Bull then the rest – Brown”

  1. Red Bull, AM-Ferrari-Mercedes in any given order, the rest in no particular order.

    Yes, moving paddock facilities within the stadium was good for more space, not to mention that looks cool & is something unique.

    Jalopnik: Still that old matter, although I didn’t know they had also opposed other events for a long time.
    They could’ve simply chosen to live elsewhere in the first place or should move elsewhere, similar to those who voluntarily choose to live within 5 km of a major international airport.

    I’d never heard of Cheetah or Ty Hill in his real name, but I like that he tried different positions, race engineer, mechanic, & even a reserve driver.

    Regarding Jamey Price’s tweet: Probably not literally, though.

    Unfortunately for Sainz, COTD is pretty accurate.

    1. They could’ve simply chosen to live elsewhere in the first place or should move elsewhere, similar to those who voluntarily choose to live within 5 km of a major international airport.

      Ever considered that the people who first complained about the stadium were complaining before and as it was built on their doorstep, reducing the value of their property?
      Running an F1 street race at no benefit to them is just another pound of salt in the wound.

      1. In the UK, people can move to a new housing estate next to a circuit, complain about the noise of the track that predates their house by decades, and have the circuit’s operation unfairly limited. Sad state of affairs

        1. That happens in the US literally every month. They also do this to small airports, forming communities around an airport that has been there forever and then complain about noise, pollution and danger.

  2. I guess Zak needs to make himself feel better for being top 5 at best, probably lower generally, but yeah, there’s a top 4 this year. Aston will have to prove itself over the coming years to see if they can maintain their form and make it permanent, but just because Red Bull are well ahead of the other three, doesn’t mean McLaren defaults back into the top of the field now.

    Score regular podiums first like the other four teams do, then come back to us, Zak.

    1. Yes, I also don’t believe mclaren, or anyone else really, can even challenge the tier B teams, I think positions up to 4 are locked as much as the top 1 is, for the teams that are further back.

      1. Does anyone remember where in the pecking order Aston Martin started last season?

        If they can improve enough to get on the podium reliably and on merit, no other team has any excuses.

        1. Yes, I have to say I was impressed by aston, it’s been almost a decade now that no team can really challenge the big 3, they did something I considered unthinkable and joined them, they also focused on improving their facilities last year or so.

          I don’t remember exactly but they were dabbling in the midfield, actually they ended up marginally behind mclaren as well last year.

        2. They got Newey’s protege. So, maybe a one-off.

  3. I wonder what the people behind CVC think when they look at F1 today? Whenever I see the quarterly figures for Liberty I’m always a little surprised at huge figures they rake in. CVC we’re obviously there for the money, do they think ‘if we’d actually tried to do something with the sport, embrace YouTube etc I’d be a lot richer’, or have they moved on and not care?

    As large as Liberty’s figures are, speeding in the pit lane is a measly 100 Euros. Aren’t these fines usually in the thousands? Not that Stroll really has to worry about the odd zero here and there.

    1. Give how these kind of people generally do not allow for self doubt or looking back, I think they are still stuck with “sold it for a good price” and “glad it’s not us having to put in some investment” @bernasaurus

      1. @bascb yeah, you’re probably right. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were investors in CVC who didn’t actually know they owned F1.

    2. or have they moved on and not care?

      Yes, as The Guardian reported in 2015, CVC had by then already paid for its purchase, so when they eventually sold they got a massive return on owning F1 for as long as they did, and they had to do very little for it.

  4. Zak Brown has been in charge at McLaren for 5+ years. What has he done to bring the team closer to the top?

    1. Nothing, they had a really good car occasionally on a single race basis in 2021, they got within half a tenth of pole on merit in one of the austrian races, they were fighting for the win on merit in russia before it rained the last 4-5 laps, they won monza on merit (ricciardo seemed to have verstappen covered even before he crashed), but they didn’t really manage to get that performance consistently and went backwards last year, both mclaren and renault have been quite disappointing in recent times, considering their resources, especially when the budget cap wasn’t around, and that they’ve been winning some championships in the past, but it’s hard to imagine them breaking out of the midfield.

    2. Not a Zak fan, but he’s brought in a lot of revenue and engineering is not his lane.

  5. Zak Brown is a man of many traits, a lot of imagination but very little concreteness and he is the ultimate master of nothing.

    1. Hey, these days people just don’t disagree with you, they feel the need to personally attack you.
      Go McLaren, go!

  6. Brown has been executive director at McLaren since late 2016. In other words, this is his 7th season. In that time, McLaren has probably spend about a billion dollars on F1, possibly even more. They have scored 9 podiums and a single win.

    What are they doing over there? What are they spending that money on?

    1. Mclaren situation is similar to Renault/Alpine – outisde Ocon odd victory, I am not sure that they even got more podia than Mclaren.

    2. Considering they used to spend 200 mil per year before the budget cap, way more than 1 mil I’d say, and yes, more or less they’re doing similarly as renault overall, they don’t exactly give you confidence they’re gonna break into the top teams.

    3. 1 bill*

  7. Thank you for COTD Will Wood.

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