Although he did not directly name Red Bull in his open letter, the McLaren Racing CEO aimed a thinly-veiled shot at the energy drinks firm, which also owns the AlphaTauri team.  

The relationship between Red Bull and sister team AlphaTauri has faced increased scrutiny in recent months, with the latter benefitting from a closer technical collaboration that has raised eyebrows among rivals in the F1 paddock. 

Brown, one of the loudest voices on the nature of the Red Bull set-up, has now gone as far as to suggest that shared ownership should be banned. 

“Most other major sports prohibit the ownership of two teams within the same league because of the obvious potential damage that it does to competition,” Brown wrote in an open letter published on McLaren’s official website. 

“It’s an unhealthy situation because it impacts decisions made both on and off the track. Whether it’s a case of having access to more data, sharing components/personnel, or even having influence over a strategic vote, it’s not in the spirit of the regulations.

“It’s important to stand up for independence, competition and fairness, and I’d like to see changes in the regulations to ensure that in future, they stop influence spreading from one team to another through strategic alliances and especially through ownership. Formula 1 should be true to its brand, and every team – except power units – should be totally independent of each other.

“I believe Formula 1 fans universally believe in fairness in competition and a level playing field, and would reject any actions that compromise the true spirit of competition within Formula 1.

“Part sharing of information, shared ownership models, and strategic alliances within the sporting fabric of Formula 1 will only serve to undermine the fans’ belief in fair and fierce competition.”