Zak Brown suggests greater fan input needed on 2021 F1 regulations

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown

McLaren boss Zak Brown has suggested that Formula 1 should carry out further consultations with fans over the direction of the sport post-2020.

Formula 1, the FIA, teams, Pirelli and – increasingly – drivers have been involved in determining the ruleset for the next cycle of sporting and technical regulations from 2021.

The sign-off on the regulations was postponed from June until October, but Brown believes Formula 1’s fans should also be consulted.

“I’d like to see fans involved,” he said. “One of the things that Formula 1 has done is they’ve done a lot more consumer research, and I think we need to pay more attention to that consumer research.

“You end up having in these meetings 10, 20 people that have a long history in the sport, so we all have our views, but I’m not sure we’re the target customer for the future of Formula 1.

“So any consumer products company would go out to the market place and find out what their customer wants, and would design that new product around what the consumer wants.

“You wouldn’t have 10 guys sitting back tasting their own food saying ‘this is what I like’, but the consumer research says something different.

“I think we need to listen to the fans and react to the fans more, so when you get into things like qualifying, and we talk about the purity of qualifying… well says who? If the new fans want to see qualifying in a different format, isn’t it the new fans who we’re trying to attract?

“So maybe we should try something new. I think we need to pay more attention. I think it’s great that the drivers are more involved, and I’d like to see more fan counsel.”

Brown also doubts that Formula 1 teams will reach a post-2020 agreement that suits all parties, and reckons the sport’s governing body has to just “get the show on the road".

“It seems like we revisit the same issues that the various teams have, and so I think at this point, Formula 1 and the FIA just need to make the decision and get on with it,” he said.

“Because I don’t think they’re going to hear anything new from the teams at the next Strategy Group meeting or the following Strategy Group meeting that they haven’t heard for the last 12 months.

“So the idea - and you guys all know this as well as anyone - that the 10 teams are somehow going to converge for the first time in the history of Formula 1 in the next three months is just not going to happen.

“So I think it’s just time to get the show on the road.”