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Brown in '40-year' warning over F1-FIA controversies

Off-track controversies in F1 continued ahead of the Australian Grand Prix as Susie Wolff filed a criminal complaint against the FIA

Domenicali Ben Sulayem
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has reiterated the need for the FIA to deal with off-track issues with "total transparency" as focus has again shifted away from racing at the Australian Grand Prix.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem was cleared of wrongdoing by an investigation after whistleblower allegations suggested he had attempted to tamper with F1 results.

But just hours after this was confirmed, F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff revealed she had filed a criminal complaint against the FIA over allegations made at the end of last year.

In addition has been the long-running saga surrounding Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and the allegations against him of improper conduct toward a female employee that were initially dismissed, although it is understood she has appealed.

At a time of turmoil for the sport, with a number of off-track sagas distracting from on-track action, Brown has called for swift resolutions.

"All the items that have come to light here in recent times are very serious situations," Brown told media including RacingNews365.

"We're living in 2024 not 1984, which means total transparency. The three situations are different but all very serious and I think we need to make sure that things are done in a transparent, truly independent manner.

"Everyone should welcome transparency. I know everyone would like these various topics to enable us to go back to motor racing, but I think until all the unanswered questions are answered people will continue to ask questions.

"So I don't think it's a great situation that we're in, that we're three races into the calendar and we're still talking about these issues.

"There's not been the level of transparency and we need to make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak up and we kind of know what you know as far as what we read and those appeals.

"So I think it's important that the FIA, as our governing body, address this swiftly, transparently and come to the right conclusions - whatever those may be."

'We are actors'

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur was alongside Brown in the Australian Grand Prix press conference and also waded in to the issues at hand.

The Frenchman conceded there is no option but to back the governing body despite recent troubles, though added: "Transparency is key and we have to trust the governance for this.

"But don't ask us to make any comments, because we don't have access to evidence and I think to make comments just based on gossip, rumours, and so on, it's just creating another layer of [problems].

"We just have to trust the governing body, and perhaps I'm a bit naive, but I think that we have to give them the responsibility to do this job and on our side, we are actors of the sport, we are not actors of the complaint."

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