Brown says next F1 boss must come 'without baggage'

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director with Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director.
© XPB 

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that whoever takes over from Chase Carey as Formula 1's next Chief Executive Officer must be someone 'without baggage' within the sport.

Carey assumed the role of CEO in 2017 in the wake of Liberty Media's takeover of the sport. He replaced longtime F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who was given the honorary title of chairman emeritus.

But at 65, there is already speculation about who will take over the role from Carey when the American decides to retire.

Among those linked with the role are current Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. Brown himself has also been mentioned in connection with the role.

But Brown is wary about the prospect of the next CEO being anyone with strong connections to a specific team currently on the F1 grid.

"I think coming from a team is fine, as long as you don't have any baggage that comes with you," he cautioned.

"It doesn't have to be someone from a team," he continued. "I think that [it could be] someone who knows the sport inside out.

"It can be someone from motor racing," he mused, suggesting that F1 could tap into other motor racing championships for its next chairman.

Formula E chief Alejandro Agag has been suggested for the role, as has Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali who is himself also a former Ferrari F1 team principal, like current FIA president jean Todt.

Brown certainly ruled out taking the role himself - at least, not in the short or medium term.

"No, I like it [at McLaren]," he stated emphatically. "I'm enjoying it. Ask me in five or ten years, but right now there is nothing I want more than to get McLaren back to winning."

Chase Carey (USA) Formula One Group Chairman with Jean Todt (FRA) FIA President.

Brown admitted that his enjoyment had been increased this season with McLaren very much resurgent after several seasons in the doldrums. The team is now firmly established as the 'best of the rest' after the Big Three teams of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

"I'm thoroughly enjoying this and I'm now starting to taste a few incremental steps forward, which is only making me more hungry to keep pushing."

Brown added that whoever took over from Carey, the change was likely to be as big as when Liberty ousted Ecclestone and brought in their own people.

"What does the whole management team look like? I don't think anyone has the skillset to do everything that needs to be done in F1. It's more about the team they build around them."

Among the people recruited by Carey is motorsport managing director Ross Brawn, former team principal at his own eponymous team that won the world title in 2009.

Before that, Brawn was a huge factor in Ferrari's decade of sustained success between 1999 and 2008.

But at 64, Brawn is unlikely to be Carey's successor as CEO. Although that's not to forget that Ecclestone ruled the sport with an iron grip until he turned 86.

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