Zak Brown not just takes on the FIA about the rules, but goes after Red Bull and Christian Horner’s style in the wake of Max Verstappen/Lando Norris tangle.

There is no love lost between McLaren’s Brown and Red Bull to say the least. Often the American has been vocal against the team and its tactics, even questioning the synergy between the senior team and Visa Cash App RB from time to time.

The latest tangle between Verstappen and Norris has given Brown another chance to get behind Red Bull. The American feels it is down to the leadership who have allowed the Dutchman to go free with the style of driving he has adhered to.

Brown even brings up the topic of the case that Horner got embroiled into at the start of the season. He reckons if Verstappen was held up for the driving, the Dutchman wouldn’t have gone this far as he we have seen. He also presses on the 2021 topic.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added his view on Verstappen and his style, while agreeing to some of the points that the American made. Brown re-ignited the topic of having permanent stewards, while addressing on if Norris has gone soft against his rival.

Battle between Verstappen/Norris, management style –

Brown: “Oh, the battle was quite an epic battle between some of the best drivers in Formula 1. So, it was quite an epic battle. 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 at what was a very small touch. But I think as we reflect on the weekend, I think we need – and I think this is something that the FIA agrees with – we need to invest more in our stewarding to have greater consistency and enforcement of the regulations. I think having part-time Stewards, it’s a very difficult job, it’s quite complex, and so to kind of do it on a part-time basis for the level Formula 1 is at, 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, ‘hey, that’s against the regulations’, he’s not going to know any different. And so I think there were missed opportunities for the Stewards to make note.

“Also disappointed that at 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 tell our drivers the do’s and don’ts and what’s going on in the race and so I think we need to have respect for regulations and we’ve seen there be lack of respect, whether it’s financial regulations or you know sporting, on-track issues with fathers and things of that nature, and 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 that I think could have been avoided if the pit wall and the Stewards had maybe been more on top of what the regulations say you can and can’t do.”

Permanent stewards –

Brown: “I think given the level Formula 1 is at, how difficult the job is. I mean, hats off to the Stewards that are here every weekend. It’s not to be disrespectful of what they’re doing. I think it’s hard to do on a part time basis and we’re all racing full time. It’s a big sport. I also think things need to be looked at the track limits. When Lando went off trying to pass Max. That was just a good, brave move. And I think we want to encourage drivers to have good racing. And for me, track limits are about cutting the track to get a better lap time. He gave the position back right away. It was clearly a slower sector. So I think there’s some things that need to be reviewed and tightened up just so we have greater consistency. Because I think you hear the drivers say they’re a little bit confused as what’s on and what’s off.”

Penalty to Verstappen –

Brown: “I think what they gave. You’re supposed to give a driver a car’s width, and he didn’t. And it’s unfortunate. It could have just been a small rub, and they both carried on. But I thought that was the right penalty, because that’s what the rule book says. But again, I think Max is an awesome racing driver fighting for the lead. And it’s our responsibility as teams to let the drivers know what the limits are. And if you don’t, I wouldn’t expect Max to do anything differently.”

Norris handling situation, weak notion –

Brown: “I think our conversations with Lando, we can’t change anything from last week. We can try and make sure it doesn’t occur again and address kind of having some full-time Stewards, things of that nature, but we can’t unwind. And I think we’re going to be very competitive this weekend. And so we just want them to be laser-focused on that. Of course, everyone loves a good battle. It wasn’t long ago that Mercedes and Red Bull were having an epic battle. So I know it’s exciting and entertaining for the fans. But at the end of the day, we want Lando and Oscar focusing on the job at hand. And that’s exactly what they’re doing. I don’t think so at all that Lando has lost Max on psychological battle. I think show me a world champion, and I think ruthless and aggressive will be two good descriptions of any world champion or Grand Prix-winning driver.

“I think Lando wants to move on from last weekend. Some people, drivers might enjoy a public spat. I think they have a very strong relationship off the track. They spoke. What they spoke about, I think, is between them, but I think Lando and from what I saw from Max’s comments, they both want to move on and get back to racing each other real hard on track. I am very happy with Lando. I think there’s a difference between what a racing driver’s like when the helmet goes on and the visor goes down and what they’re like Monday through Thursday and how they communicate and carry themselves and the relationships that they have. So I think if you look, a lot of world champions, sweethearts outside of the race car, but pretty fierce once the helmet goes on. And Lando’s no different.”

Verstappen driving –

Brown: “I don’t think it would be fair to characterise it as Max’s driving. I think, as Toto mentioned, you see battles all throughout the field. And so I think we just need regulations that are black and white and enforced accordingly. So I don’t think it would be fair to say Max is driving. I think all these drivers drive at the absolute limit as they should. But then you have a set of regulations. I think if you look at Anthony Davidson’s review on Sky Sports, a driver, as he mentioned, who has driven the track himself and driven Formula 1 cars. I thought he did a nice job of laying out what exactly was going on there. So I think it’s not about cleaning up the drivers, 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.”

Wolff: “No, I think this is the way he drives. That’s what I’ve seen in Formula 1 since he’s come. And I don’t want to be judgmental on that. I think you drive as much as you’re being let off. And I’m not saying it’s good or bad. But on a starting line, you go as much forward as you can without being penalised. On the track limits, you maximise the width that you can take. We, on technical regulations, we are maximising every area. So, the drivers will maximize every area from what’s on and what’s not. And that is as simple as it is. And that is on, there was a 10-second penalty. Maybe that’s what. what the consequence is, but that’s okay. Don’t expect them trashing each other here, sitting on the sofa. I have lots of bad things to say about Zach, but I would never do it even if he sits next to me.”

Past battle with Mercedes –

Wolff: “First of all, the drivers among themselves will know best. Lando and Max, they get on with each other very well. They will have discussed it. They’re not going to trash each other in the media, but talk it through, and all the good guys will have a judgment on that, and we’ll see what it means. I think that’s number one. And number two is there’s a set of regulations. And those regulations give the boundaries to the drivers, what’s on, what’s not. It’s the same with track limits. You’re either penalised or not. And in the same way, the way you race. And I think with the regulations maybe a little bit vague, or interpretations different from time to time, it’s clear that the really good ones are going to push this as much as they can. And then we could end up in similar situations. It’s not only among these two. I mean, we’ve seen it between the Alpines, et cetera, et cetera. So I agree with Zak on the regulations tell us what’s on and what’s off, number one. Number two. Yeah, I tend to agree with Zak, it’s always amusing to see just one-dimensional comments of team principals where you think, let’s be a little bit objective at least.”

Talks with Red Bull, Horner –

Brown: “That’s the FIA’s role. I don’t really have any interest in speaking with Christian.”

Here’s Max Verstappen, Lando Norris on being fine

Here’s Andrea Stella, Christian Horner on the tangle

Here’s Max Verstappen, Lando Norris on their Austrian GP hit

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