After comments made by McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown, the voting process by F1 teams has come under the spotlight.
Brown wants secret ballots to take place rather than a show of hands. This would prevent customer teams to feel obliged to side with the constructor they were affiliated to, just to protect their relationship.
However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner, thinks that it would be a ‘shame’ if the voting process went secret. This was because he could “only assume it’s because of pressure applied by the [power unit] supplier”.
Horner is in favour of an open system even after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff raised the issue that Red Bull and their ‘sister’ outfit, AlphaTauri, invariably vote the same way.
But Horner had a logical explanation for the voting, while also explaining that there was a bit of puppeteering involved in the process.
“I find it quite amusing because we see on so many occasions, there’s a look down the line to see how an engine supplier votes, and then the hands go up accordingly. It’s always like they’re on a string,” Horner told RacingNews365.
“AlphaTauri and Red Bull have 100% the same ownership, which is the only two teams in F1 that have that. So of course we will vote in a common way that benefits the group because we are subsidiaries of the group, so to expect anything different would be….yeah, not going to happen.”
Wolff wants a secret vote
Wolff, however, sides with Brown in wishing for a secret ballot.
“In terms of the secret ballot, it’s very easy,” said the Mercedes F1 co-owner and team principal.
“You’ve seen in the past that Toro Rosso [now AlphaTauri] has voted like Red Bull, probably without any exemptions, and Haas have gone the Ferrari way. In our case, we have never tried to influence a team.
“Obviously things have been discussed when it was a common topic, like on the power unit, it’s clear the teams vote with each other and none of the teams would vote against their own interests in terms of chassis regulations.
“So the idea of the secret ballot is good. I doubt Franz [Tost, AlphaTauri boss] is not going to take instructions and neither will Guenther [Steiner, Haas boss] not take instructions. But the attempt is obviously good.
“No team should be really influenced by any affiliate or any supplier.”
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