Zak Brown, Daniel Ricciardo future in Formula 1, Oscar Piastri, McLaren, the driver grid
Walkinshaw Andretti United co-owner Zak Brown is hoping for Bathurst victory for the first time on the track in three years.
Brown is trackside with WAU and teammate Ryan Walkinshaw this weekend.
The 2019 Bathurst 1000 was Brown’s last official appearance at a Supercars event.
WAU duly brought home a podium thanks to James Courtney and Jack Perkins.
The team won the 2021 race at a canter, with Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth taking the team’s eighth win.
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Qualifying Highlights – Bathurst | 01:35
Critically, it was Bathurst’s first win in the guise of Walkinshaw Andretti United, who made his debut in 2018.
McLaren Formula One boss Brown has chosen Mount Panorama over Suzuka, which hosts the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.
Brown, however, reportedly refused to answer questions about McLaren, the exit of Daniel Ricciardo or the impending arrival of Oscar Piastri.
Brown addressed the FIA’s delay in certifying 2021 cost cap data amid weekend speculation that Red Bull and Aston Martin could be in breach of the cap.
“I don’t know any more than anybody else,” Brown said.
“The certificates were due to be distributed on Wednesday and they have now been postponed to Monday, which means that for some reason they are not ready.
“You can, based on speculation, assume that a team or two haven’t complied. I don’t know if that’s the case.
“Cost caps are critically important, and we need to make sure they are enforced [and] if someone has violated this, the appropriate sanctions, not only financial, but also sporting and technical, are put in place.
“If you bend the rules technically [or] in sport, you get penalties, and the finances should be the same.
“Because if someone has overspent, it gives them an unfair advantage on the track, and they need to be dealt with accordingly firmly and quickly.”
RED FLAG! Scary crash in Bathurst | 00:46
Michael Masi, former Formula 1 racing director and now chairman of the Supercars Commission, was another talking point, with Brown being “pleased” the Australian has a new role in the sport.
“It’s unfortunate what happened there, I think he’s a very good steward and he’s a racer,” he said.
“So I’m happy to see he’s in Supercars, because I think he adds value.”
Coming back to action at the Bathurst track, given McLaren’s 2021 result and Brown’s presence on the pitch, the American hopes WAU can make it count.
“This is my second time in Bathurst, first time in Australia in a few years,” Brown told the assembled media.
“I watched it last year on TV and we won the trophy.
“I’m often up in the middle of the night watching the races on SuperView.
“We need a bit more consistency to fight for the championship.
“We have cars that can win, and I hope we will win this weekend.
“But it’s tough competition.”
WAU will transition to Ford in 2023 when the Gen3 era begins.
The team has been running Commodores since its inception in 1990.
Highlights of Practice 2 Bathurst | 01:29
Brown is a noted collector of race cars and owns the team’s Commodore, winner of Bathurst in 2011.
WAU’s final race as a General Motors team will be the season-ending VALO Adelaide 500.
Brown cited victory in Bathurst and Adelaide as the key to ending Holden and GM’s relationship with WAU.
“It’s a very important race for us,” Brown said of Bathurst.
“This and Adelaide are two trophies that would mean a lot to us, given our long-standing relationship with Holden.
“I am fortunate to be the owner of Holden Bathurst’s latest winning work.
“Holden is a great racing company, and so is Ford.
” Jim Farley [global Ford boss] is a good friend, and Mark Rushbrook [global Ford motorsport boss]they are big car racing fans.
“The car looks great, it’s exciting for Supercars, it’s going to be a new chapter for us.
“I’m sure we’ll win races together.”
— with supercars.com