Zak Brown fires Christian Horner retort after FIA letter leaked

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has claimed he just gave his opinion in his recent letter to the FIA.

With the Red Bull cost cap drama showing no signs of dying down, McLaren boss Zak Brown has defended his decision to send a letter directly to the FIA, which labelled cost cap breachers as ‘cheats’.

The American has justified the letter by claiming that he was just voicing his opinion rather than trying to influence anything in the FIA’s judgement.

“All we were doing was volunteering our opinion for them [the FIA] to take into consideration,” said Brown.

“I think it has been a transparent process so far, in that, you know, certificates were going to be issued, then it was delayed, but they communicated it was going to be delayed, they’ve communicated who’s received, who hasn’t, who had procedural,” he explained.

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Prior to the Grand Prix this weekend in Austin, Zak Brown was brought face to face with Red Bull boss Christian Horner, in what proved to be a frosty press conference, with Horner expressing his anger at Brown for the letter he wrote to the FIA.

Horner has recently said that the accusations being made by other teams are appalling and that the negative comments are affecting everyone affiliated with the team, not just himself.

Brown has now defended his comments by saying that the letter never actually accused anyone in particular, it was just a general statement about any cost cap breaching culprit, now or in the future.

“I didn’t mention any teams, it was a general response. 

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“Now that we are in the cost cap era, if someone breaches that, here’s what we think some of the ramifications are.

“If we had more money to spend, that would put us in better light and performance, more people, more upgrades, whatever the case may be.”

While Brown’s letter definitely could be interpreted as suggesting a punishment for Red Bull, the McLaren boss is insistent that he was just trying to ensure that any breach will be appropriately punished because of the benefits the extra spending can have.  

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“My letter was: if someone has [breached the cap], then here are the things that we think should be addressed.

“No different than if a ride hight is incorrect, or a flexi wing, or whatever the case may be.”

It remains to be seen exactly how Red Bull will be punished, but Zak Brown will be hoping that it is severe enough to deter anyone from going over the cap in the future.