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British GP: Red Bull lack respect, says McLaren boss Brown

McLaren Racing chief executive officer Zak Brown has accused Red Bull of “lacking respect” for Formula 1 on a wide range of issues.

Brown’s comments were in the context of the collision between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris in last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

But they also covered the team’s breaking of the cost cap in 2021 and allegations about the behaviour of team principal Christian Horner.

Brown said: “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.”

The comment about “fathers” is a reference to the ongoing dispute between Horner and Verstappen’s father Jos, which broke out into the open with a row over a demonstration run in Austria.

Horner and Jos Verstappen are at loggerheads because of allegations of sexual harassment and coercive, controlling behaviour made against Horner by a female employee. Horner denies the claims.

Red Bull refused to comment on Brown’s remarks.

The American said Red Bull should have educated Verstappen about the rules of conduct on the race track and that their failure to do so had encouraged his driving in that way.

Brown said: “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 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.”

Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff said: “The drivers among themselves will know best. Lando and Max, they get on with each other very well. 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.

“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.”

Norris said this week that he and Verstappen had discussed the incident which occurred while they were battling for the lead in Austria last weekend and the Dutchman said they “agreed with 99% of everything”.

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