McLaren CEO Zak Brown has called for a switch to secret ballots for any rule changes within Formula 1.
Current rule changes are run through the F1 commission made up of a total of 30 votes. These votes are made up of 10 from the teams and 10 each from the FIA and F1. Any rule changes requires the vote to pass a super majority; 28 out of 30 votes overall.
In a column on the McLaren website, Brown wrote that he wants F1 to adopt secret voting to ensure that any team does not feel pressured in voting a certain way or to satisfy a team it has a close relationship with.
“Currently, decisions about the future of the sport can be halted by a minority, rather than majority, and they are further skewed by some teams’ voting power being in favour of their affiliated team partner,” wrote Brown.
“There have even been instances when an affiliated team, to satisfy its bigger partner, has voted in favour of a clear disadvantage to itself. This isn’t sport. This isn’t putting the fans first.
“It is a situation that must be addressed and so we call for secret ballot voting to be implemented in all F1 Commission meetings with immediate effect.
“In other sports the regulatory body has the power of governance because they always focus on what is in the best interests of the sport overall, which should be the key consideration in Formula 1.
“With a change in the voting procedures, it could lead to more agile decision-making that would ultimately benefit the interests of the fans and in doing so the sport at large, including the participants.”
Brown believes that this kind of voting is damaging to the sport and that secret voting would end voting coalitions and ensure a “level playing field”.
“The rise of team affiliations has become unhealthy for our sport,” he wrote. “It is not in the best interests of competition if two rivals, or even three, share assets and align strategically. One of the fundamental principles of Formula 1, as opposed to other one-make racing series, is an open competition between constructors.
“I do not wish to see the number of teams in F1 reduce, but team affiliations remain an issue because they do not promote a level playing field. This is where further changes need to be made to the governance of Formula 1.
“There have always been conflicts of interest in Formula 1 and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon, so it’s even more important that F1 and the FIA, who have no other agenda than the whole sport’s success, call the shots in the best interests in F1 and not be blocked and slowed at every turn.”