Horner: Switch to F1 secret ballot voting would be "a shame"

Christian Horner believes it would be "a shame" if Formula 1 teams resorted to secret ballot voting for future rule changes following a suggestion by McLaren boss Zak Brown.

Listen to this article

Brown wrote an open letter about the state of F1 that was published on Thursday in which he called for a move to secret ballot voting at F1 Commission meetings.

Read Also:

Brown said the practice would stop unhealthy affiliations between bigger teams and smaller partner squads, ensuring they voted in the best interests of F1 as a whole.

But Red Bull team principal Horner felt it would be a shame in F1 had to go down such a route to ensure teams could be independent in their voting habits.

"I heard about that, and I can only assume it's because of pressure applied from the [power unit] supplier, which if that is the case, is a shame," Horner said when asked about Brown's letter.

"It would be a shame to need to go behind a secret ballot, but a team has a right to request that.

"But if that's what it took to take independent votes, then we don't have a major issue with it."

But Horner was alone in raising concerns about a move to secret ballot voting during Friday's FIA press conference, with the proposal gaining support from Mercedes, Ferrari and Alpine.

Toto Wolff said that Mercedes had never tried to use its position as a power unit supplier to influence how its customers voted, but felt a secret ballot system would help.

"In terms of the secret ballot, it's very easy," Wolff said.

"You have seen in the past that Toro Rosso [now AlphaTauri] has voted like Red Bull, probably without any exemptions, and Haas has 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 that Franz [Tost, AlphaTauri boss] is not going to take instructions, and neither will Gunther [Steiner, Haas boss] not take instructions. But the attempt is obviously good.

"No team should be really influenced by any affiliate or any supplier."

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies revealed there is already a mechanism within the governance system that allows for secret ballots, and that teams should not be afraid to speak up to put it into action.

"The secret ballot option has been in the governance for a long while," Mekies said.

"It's just the fact that perhaps we didn't use it very often, or certainly in the last few years, we haven't done so. It's good to be able to use it.

"Whether or not we'll do it systematically or not, it's up to any team to request a secret ballot on any questions, all the questions. It's already a mechanism that is in the governance with the FIA and F1.

"We are in favour of it. Whenever a team is not comfortable with an item that needs to be voted, they should raise their hands and make sure we get a secret ballot.

"If it's all the time like that, we are always happy. For us, it's a good thing for the sport, and fully supportive."

Alpine is the only team racing in F1 with Renault power units, meaning it does not have any affiliations to another squad, but is still in favour of the move.

"We're in favour, not because it's going to change anything for us, but because we believe that every team should be voting for their best interests and what's best for them," said Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski.

"We've seen certain situations in the past, the ones that Zak referred to, where some teams seem to be voting against their own interests. That's not good for Formula 1.

"You need to keep the balance right if you want, and you can't have teams voting against their interests because of affiliations."

shares
comments

Related video

Roland Ratzenberger: The inside story of the Imola weekend
Previous article

Roland Ratzenberger: The inside story of the Imola weekend

Next article

Grand Prix practice results: Bottas, Hamilton fastest at Portimao

Grand Prix practice results: Bottas, Hamilton fastest at Portimao
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Prime

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Prime

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue.

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Prime

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger .

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Prime

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Prime

Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022