McLaren CEO: Red Bull should have reined in Verstappen in Austria

SILVERSTONE, Great Britain — McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes the collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in Austria could have been avoided had Red Bull’s leadership intervened earlier in the race.

Norris and Verstappen collided while racing for the lead of the Austrian Grand Prix, resulting in punctures for both drivers and Norris’ retirement from the race.

While Norris appears to have moved on from the collision, Brown believes the incident could have been avoided had the stewards or Red Bull warned Verstappen he was pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable.

“Until someone tells Max that that’s against the regulations, he’s not going to know any different,” Brown said. “So I think there were missed opportunities for the stewards to make note.

“Also disappointed that such a great team like Red Bull, that the leadership almost encourages it, because you listen on the radio and what was said.

“We all have a responsibility on pit wall to tell our drivers the dos and don’ts and what’s going on in the race. I think we need to have respect in the regulations.”

Brown appeared to be referencing a radio communication between Verstappen, his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner after the race.

Speaking about Norris, Horner said over the radio: “He didn’t behave correctly there, Max. Desperately unlucky but you did your very best.”

Brown fired further shots at Horner by drawing parallels between the incident in Austria, Red Bull’s breach of the cost cap in 2021 and an apparent dig at the tense relationship between the Red Bull team boss and Verstappen’s father, Jos.

“We’ve seen a lack of respect, whether it be financial regulations, or sporting on-track issues with father’s and things of that nature.

“I just don’t think that’s how we need to go racing and we need to guide our drivers on what’s right or wrong and I think had it been addressed earlier, maybe that incident wouldn’t have taken place.

“So racing incident, but I think could have been avoided if the pit wall and the stewards had been more on top of what you can or can’t do.”

Asked if he would raise the issue directly with Horner, Brown said: “That’s the FIA’s role. I don’t have an interest in speaking with Christian.”

Verstappen received a 10-second penalty for causing the collision, which Brown believes was appropriate given the way the Red Bull driver positioned his car on the entry to the corner.

“You’re supposed to give a driver a car’s width and he didn’t. It was unfortunate. It could have just been a small rub and carried on. But I thought that was the right penalty because that’s what the rulebook says.

“Again, I think Max is an awesome racing driver, fighting for the lead. It’s our responsibility as teams to let the drivers know what the limits are. If you don’t, I wouldn’t expect Max to do anything differently.”

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top