Red Bull pit wall "encourage" Verstappen to break racing rules - Brown (2024)

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

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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
LambiaseSo 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
NorrisNorris 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.
JosephOkay, we’re on it.
NorrisHe saw me move. Then he moved. That’s not allowed.
JosephWe’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
LambiaseSo gap 1.2.
VerstappenIt’s like there’s something wrong with the car, man. No grip.
Lap: 57/71 VER: 1’08.975, NOR: 1’08.751
LambiaseAnd strat 11, strat 11. Lando on DRS, 0.9.
LambiaseFor reference Max, Russell on a hard is doing 9.8.
LambiaseAlso mid six if you prefer. Mid six.
Lap: 58/71 VER: 1’09.183, NOR: 1’09.161
LambiaseGap 0.8, on DRS.JosephLando, 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
LambiaseGap 0.7.NorrisNorris 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.
VerstappenNorris goes down the inside of Verstappen at turn three, passes him and goes off the track
He overtook outside the track.
JosephUnderstood mate. He keeps forcing you off. It was the right thing to do to give the position back. Let’s get it again.
LambiaseNorris 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.
LambiaseJust head down mate, head now.
VerstappenYeah, I know. Come on.
Lap: 60/71 VER: 1’09.399, NOR: 1’09.356
LambiaseI’m not entirely sure how it thinks you forced him off. Max. As in, Lando went straight up the inside, went too far.NorrisYeah but I can’t keep doing this, if he keeps moving I’m going to lock up.
NorrisOh… Jesus.
Lap: 62/71 VER: 1’09.528, NOR: 1’09.509
LambiaseOkay, let’s have mode seven Max. Gap 0.6.JosephPush and hold available.
Lap: 63/71 VER: 1’10.412, NOR: 1’10.234
VerstappenNorris tries to pass Verstappen on the inside of turn three, the Red Bull driver runs wide and stays ahead
He forced me off again.
NorrisNorris 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.
LambiaseIt’s not clever, is it?JosephYep. And he went off-track.
VerstappenHe’s just dive-bombing, like, that’s not how you overtake.
Lap: 64/71 VER: 1’38.003, NOR: 2’00.257
VerstappenNorris attempts to pass Verstappen on the outside approaching turn three. They collide and both drivers sustain punctures
Nice. Oh my god.
NorrisYeah the car’s f*cked.
LambiaseBox Max. Box. Got rear-left puncture. Box.JosephIt’s just a puncture. Box this lap, box this lap.
LambiaseTyre 13. Tyre one-three.EngineerRed A10, red A10.
LambiaseLook out for the white line pit lane entry.EngineerDiff red A10.
LambiaseAnd just a reminder strat 12 in pit lane.JosephRed A10, please, red A10.
NorrisI’m in red A10, mate, are you blind?
NorrisHe enters the pits
It’s too much damage, okay, it’s better to just retire now.
Lap: 65/71 VER: 1’33.697, NOR:
LambiaseStrat 11 tyre eight. Strat 11 tyre eight.NorrisMcLaren attempt to repair his car
Let’s not waste mileage because if we can’t get points there’s no point doing it.
LambiaseOkay so you’ve got Hamilton at seven seconds ahead Max. Seven laps remaining. Hamilton pace…JosephWe’ll keep going, mate.
Did you see the floor damage?
JosephOkay. Turn it off, please, turn it off.
LambiaseHamilton pace 9.9. Nothing we can do about that now Max so just focus on the car ahead.
LambiaseVSC deployed, VSC deployed. Plus one. And fail 10. Fail 1-0 fail.
Chequered flag
LambiaseRecharge on and fail 84 please Max.
LambiaseMax, 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.
VerstappenOf course. Yeah, sure. That’s just ridiculous. You can just send it left and right. What do you want me to do?
HornerYeah he didn’t behave correctly, Max. So, yeah, desperately unlucky, especially here. But, you did your very best.
VerstappenYeah. I mean the race itself was also just sh*t, to be honest. Many things to improve on. But that’s what it is.

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Red Bull pit wall "encourage" Verstappen to break racing rules - Brown (2024)
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