McLaren executive director Zak Brown believes Formula 1 owner Liberty Media must not bow to pressure from manufacturer front-runners Mercedes and Ferrari when making decisions about the sport's future, saying the fans' interests must be put first moving forward.

Liberty is currently working with all 10 teams and a number of the sport's stakeholders to define the future regulations after 2020, and has set its sights on introducing a cost cap to help level the competitive playing field in F1.

A number of plans have been met with discomfort by Ferrari and Mercedes, F1's leading two teams and manufacturers, and while Brown understands their defensive nature given their existing standing, he stressed that Liberty must put the sport and its fans first instead of bowing to any pressure it may face.

"On one hand I understand why they want to protect that position," Brown said. "I think we’ve got to ask ourselves if Mercedes wins seven championships in a row, how’s that going to impact the sport and is that healthy for anyone in the sport.

"Under the current regulations, current spend, you’ve got to say they’re odds-on favourite to win the next three years. We’ve got a chance to course-correct what 2021 looks like but we need to do that now as I think Formula 1 will be much more entertaining - and therefore much more valuable to all of us - if we have four, five, six teams winning races and have a chance at a championship.

"That will ultimately be healthier and I don’t think Mercedes gets any more credit for winning 15 races and winning the championship or winning five races and winning the championship. That will make the championship more entertaining than it is today.

"I think Liberty needs to do what’s best for the sport, what’s best for the fans. If that means a team, a manufacturer, doesn’t support that, then I think they need to be prepared to recognise you’re not going to make everyone happy.

"Their cantering needs to be what’s best for the sport and if someone feels that’s to the detriment of their racing team then I would rather lose one, replace them and still] have 10, than have one or two teams in the championship."

Asked if there was a danger of Ferrari and Mercedes walking away from F1, Brown said: "I think that’s highly unlikely but I think anything is possible.

"Therefore we need to land on a set of rules that allow anyone looking at the rules that allow those who are looking at the sport to come in, so that in the unexpected and hopefully highly unlikely that they were to leave, the sport needs to go on.

"Ferrari’s a unique case because it’s Ferrari, but we’ve lost BMW, we’ve lost Toyota, we’ve lost Honda before. We’ve all seen manufacturers come and go in the sport and it’s always survived.

"We’ve got to write rules that are best for the sport, not right for today’s manufacturers."

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