While the search continues to find a CEO for the IZOD IndyCar Series, it appears that the process has centered for now on one name in particular: Zak Brown, founder of global motorsports marketing company Just Marketing International.
“He’s interested in doing something with us, and in his case, I think his only interest would be if we put the pieces together and he was the head of racing,” Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles told the Associated Press on Saturday at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Brown has been a figure that’s popped up repeatedly in regards to who could become the successor to the departed Randy Bernard. When Tony George proposed to buy the series he founded last fall, his potential management team featured Brown as the CEO and commissioner of the series.
However, Miles cautioned that Brown has yet to decide whether he really wants to pursue the position.
“He’s got a complicated life that he’s got to sort out, and we’ve also got to do our due diligence,” Miles told the AP. “You don’t just fall in love overnight. We continue to learn about each other and how we think, and he can speak for himself — he’s got other interests, and this isn’t a part-time gig. So we’ve got to see.”
Brown is one of the sport’s biggest deal-makers, with his Indianapolis-based company specializing in bringing corporations to racing series such as Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”