Christian Horner, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2024

Red Bull pit wall “encourage” Verstappen to break racing rules – Brown

Formula 1

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Red Bull should do more to encourage Max Verstappen to obey the racing rules, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has said.

Verstappen collided with Lando Norris while the pair were fighting for the lead of the Austrian Grand Prix last week. The stewards held Verstappen responsible, issuing him a 10-second time penalty.

However during the race Norris repeatedly accused Verstappen of breaking the racing rules by moving under braking and going off the track in order to keep the lead when the McLaren driver tried to pass him.

Brown said he enjoyed their fight over the lead but felt the stewards should have stepped in before contact was made. He argued F1 should have a permanent group of stewards at every race which he believes would make decision-making more consistent.

“It was quite an epic battle,” he said. “Exciting for the fans, exciting for everyone in Formula 1. I think it was a matter of time until we saw the two of them going head-to-head. Obviously an unfortunate outcome [from] what was a very small touch.

“But I think as we reflect on the weekend – I think this is something that the FIA agrees – we need to invest more in our stewarding to have greater consistency in enforcement of the regulations.

“I think having part-time stewards, it’s a very difficult job. It’s quite complex and to do it on a part time basis for the level of Formula 1 I think is difficult because Max and Lando were just duking it out as you’d expect them to do and until someone tells Max ‘that’s against the regulations’ he’s not going to know any different. “So I think, there were missed opportunities for the stewards to make note.”

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However he also believes Red Bull should have done more to ensure Verstappen obeyed the racing rules and accused them of encouraging him to keep making illegal moves.

“I’m also disappointed in such a great team like Red Bull, that the leadership almost encourages it,” he said. “Because you listen on the radio what was said, we all have a responsibility on pit wall to tell our drivers the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of what’s going on in the race.”

Brown compared the situation to past occasions when Red Bull have been found to have broken the rules, such as when they exceeded the 2021 budget cap by £1.8 million.

“I think when you can have respect for regulations, and we’ve seen there be lack of respect whether it’s financial regulations or sporting or on-track, issues with fathers and things of that nature, I just don’t think that’s how we need to go racing.

“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.”

Brown said he does not intend to raise his concerns with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “I don’t have any interest in speaking with Christian,” he said.

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However he said Verstappen is not the only driver who has pushed the rules too far, and stressed F1 needs to reform how it enforces its rules to combat it.

“You see battles all throughout the field,” he said. “I think we just need regulations in black and white and enforced accordingly.

“So I don’t think it would be fair to say it’s Max’s driving. I think all these drivers drive at the absolute limit, as they should. But they do have a set of regulations.

“It’s not about cleaning up the drivers’ [behaviour], it’s about enforcing and having much clearer regulations on a consistent basis, whatever those may be. But I think, these are the 20 best drivers in the world, so they can deal with about anything.”

Verstappen and Norris’ Austrian GP team radio

Lap: 55/71 VER: 1’09.213, NOR: 1’09.348
Lambiase So Lando on DRS he’s 0.7.
Norris closes on Verstappen at turn three. The Red Bull driver reacts by moving to cover the inside line
Norris Norris closes on Verstappen at turn three. The Red Bull driver reacts by moving to cover the inside line
Yeah. He reacted to my move. You’re not allowed to do that.
Joseph Okay, we’re on it.
Norris He saw me move. Then he moved. That’s not allowed.
Joseph We’ve reported that to the race director. He saw you move and then moved.
Lap: 56/71 VER: 1’08.623, NOR: 1’08.770
Lambiase So gap 1.2.
Verstappen It’s like there’s something wrong with the car, man. No grip.
Lap: 57/71 VER: 1’08.975, NOR: 1’08.751
Lambiase And strat 11, strat 11. Lando on DRS, 0.9.
Lambiase For reference Max, Russell on a hard is doing 9.8.
Lambiase Also mid six if you prefer. Mid six.
Verstappen No.
Lap: 58/71 VER: 1’09.183, NOR: 1’09.161
Lambiase Gap 0.8, on DRS. Joseph Lando, third strike. So we’ve got a black-and-white flag that was turn one.
Lap: 59/71 VER: 1’10.646, NOR: 1’10.626
Lambiase Gap 0.7. Norris Norris goes down the inside of Verstappen at turn three, passes him and goes off the track, committing his fourth track limits infringement which incurs a penalty
He can’t keep moving after I’ve moved, it’s just dangerous. We’re going to have a big shunt. He forced me to go wide.
Verstappen Norris goes down the inside of Verstappen at turn three, passes him and goes off the track
He overtook outside the track.
Joseph Understood mate. He keeps forcing you off. It was the right thing to do to give the position back. Let’s get it again.
Lambiase Norris returns the position.
He already had black and white flags. He already had a black and white flag.
Verstappen [Sarcastic] Yeah, that’s my second penalty then. It’s super-clear.
Lambiase Just head down mate, head now.
Verstappen Yeah, I know. Come on.
Lap: 60/71 VER: 1’09.399, NOR: 1’09.356
Lambiase I’m not entirely sure how it thinks you forced him off. Max. As in, Lando went straight up the inside, went too far. Norris Yeah but I can’t keep doing this, if he keeps moving I’m going to lock up.
Norris Oh… Jesus.
Lap: 62/71 VER: 1’09.528, NOR: 1’09.509
Lambiase Okay, let’s have mode seven Max. Gap 0.6. Joseph Push and hold available.
Lap: 63/71 VER: 1’10.412, NOR: 1’10.234
Verstappen Norris tries to pass Verstappen on the inside of turn three, the Red Bull driver runs wide and stays ahead
He forced me off again.
Norris Norris tries to pass Verstappen on the inside of turn three, the Red Bull driver runs wide and stays ahead
Yeah he has to give the position back. I was ahead at the apex.
Lambiase It’s not clever, is it? Joseph Yep. And he went off-track.
Verstappen He’s just dive-bombing, like, that’s not how you overtake.
Lap: 64/71 VER: 1’38.003, NOR: 2’00.257
Verstappen Norris attempts to pass Verstappen on the outside approaching turn three. They collide and both drivers sustain punctures
Nice. Oh my god.
Norris Yeah the car’s fucked.
Lambiase Box Max. Box. Got rear-left puncture. Box. Joseph It’s just a puncture. Box this lap, box this lap.
Lambiase Tyre 13. Tyre one-three. Engineer Red A10, red A10.
Lambiase Look out for the white line pit lane entry. Engineer Diff red A10.
Lambiase And just a reminder strat 12 in pit lane. Joseph Red A10, please, red A10.
Norris I’m in red A10, mate, are you blind?
Norris He enters the pits
It’s too much damage, okay, it’s better to just retire now.
Lap: 65/71 VER: 1’33.697, NOR:
Lambiase Strat 11 tyre eight. Strat 11 tyre eight. Norris McLaren attempt to repair his car
Let’s not waste mileage because if we can’t get points there’s no point doing it.
Lambiase Okay so you’ve got Hamilton at seven seconds ahead Max. Seven laps remaining. Hamilton pace… Joseph We’ll keep going, mate.
Verstappen Interrupts
Did you see the floor damage?
Joseph Okay. Turn it off, please, turn it off.
Lambiase Hamilton pace 9.9. Nothing we can do about that now Max so just focus on the car ahead.
Lambiase VSC deployed, VSC deployed. Plus one. And fail 10. Fail 1-0 fail.
Chequered flag
Lambiase Recharge on and fail 84 please Max.
Lambiase Max, heads-up you were given a 10-second penalty for that incident with Lando, just in case you’re quizzed about that after the race.
Verstappen Of course. Yeah, sure. That’s just ridiculous. You can just send it left and right. What do you want me to do?
Horner Yeah he didn’t behave correctly, Max. So, yeah, desperately unlucky, especially here. But, you did your very best.
Verstappen Yeah. I mean the race itself was also just shit, to be honest. Many things to improve on. But that’s what it is.

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Keith Collantine
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20 comments on “Red Bull pit wall “encourage” Verstappen to break racing rules – Brown”

  1. Well, he is not exactly a neutral party in this, is he? Disappointed he joins the group of F1 team boss toddlers. I personally was already quite fed up with Horner, Wolff, Marko and Stella. We need more Fred’s.

    1. Disappointed he joins the group of F1 team boss toddlers

      Zak Brown has always come across as a talkative and hypocritical sour loser. I’m surprised you haven’t noticed it before. He has the whiff of the overhyped salesman driven solely by money.

      1. Are you man because McLaren are better than Ferrari.

      2. Have you met any american CEOs who are not?

  2. I think Brown does seem to wear his opinion on his sleeve, but in this case I don’t think he’s wrong. FIA should have fixed this problem in 2021, but they didn’t. Hamilton should be an eight-time WDC, and Masi should have been banned for life.

    1. Even though Masi didn’t receive a lifetime ban, he still won’t return in any case or is extremely unlikely to return.

    2. If you want to correct all masi’s wrongdoings you should also have a look at bahrain that year, hence verstappen is still champion.

  3. He made valid points.

  4. Not this stuff again

  5. Anything new really? We have already known this attitude and philosophy of Red Bull since 2014

    1. Yup one of the worst teams ever. Not surprising they are losing performance as Newey winds down his involvement.

    2. Can you guys not just focus on what’s good in F1 at the moment? We are looking more and more at competitiveness at the front for McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari. So please stop the whining and the negativity, and enjoy that we are finally looking at weekends where it is not known yet who is going to win.

      Why the need to be negative and put that out here. Be positive for the team and drivers you are supporting without bringing other teams down. If everyone would do that, it would be so much more enjoyable to read people’s comments.

  6. “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men” – Douglas Bader


    1. Rule: “Dont steal or murder”

      Fool: sounds good, ok.

      Wise man: Thanks. Ill take that on advisement.

  7. Some in here seem convinced about the rule breaking.. gaslit by Brown. Who every time he opens his mouth makes me hope that moment is there where he’ll find his own foot planted firmly in there

    1. Some in here seem convinced about the rule breaking.. gaslit by Brown.

      I think you will find that Zak Brown is very much a latecomer to the party when it comes to comments about Max’s driving style, most, if not all, of the pit lane have tagged it as overly aggressive, bullying, and more.

      1. @SteveP
        I don’t think you’ll find anyone who doesn’t agree with him being aggressive. That was not the point though

  8. Brown is getting pathetic. Maybe he should just focus on his own team and actions. Apparently being unbearable is a contatious disease among teambosses.

    1. It almost seems it is a prerequisite.

  9. Zak Brown is Mercedes mouthpiece, so, in order to convince Verstappen to leave Red Bull, a very negative campaign against him is taking place to make him think his allegiance. McLaren would need to win a couple of races and Mercedes other two to create the impression of Red Bull falling apart. That combined with the poor form of Checo and if Red Bull loses the WCC the. Verstappen won’t see why he has to stay. No surprise why Zak was given the task to split RB and Red Bull too.

    Compare how Zak talks about Hamilton in similar situations. Miami 2024 Sorint Race when Hamilton took out the Aston’s and the McLaren.

Comments are closed.