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Brown makes cheeky crack at ‘historic’ Racing Point

Simon Chapman

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Saturday 15th August, 2020 - 10:15am

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McLaren driver Lando Norris leads Lance Stroll of Racing Point

McLaren boss Zak Brown has thrown a cheeky jibe at Otmar Szafnauer as the war of words between Formula 1 team bosses over Racing Point’s brake ducts continues.

During Friday’s team press conference, Brown appeared alongside Team Principal Szafnauer and Renault Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul.

McLaren was among the teams to appeal the decision by the FIA after Racing Point was handed a EUR 400,000 fine and deducted 15 points.

It later revoked its appeal alongside Williams, while Renault, Ferrari and Racing Point itself will appeal the decision.

Claims that the Racing Point ducts were designed based upon photographers were labelled “BS” by Brown during last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

In response, Szafanauer lambasted Brown suggesting he knew more about historic motor racing than contemporary Formula 1.

Brown has a sizeable historic motor racing collection and has raced Formula 1 cars from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s.

“He’s got no idea what he’s talking about, zero,” said the Racing Point boss.

“And I’m surprised at how little he knows about the rules of F1. It seems to me he knows more about historic racing than he does about F1.”

When asked during the Friday press conference at the Spanish Grand Prix to respond to those comments, Brown was quick to throw shade back at Szafnauer, suggesting this year’s RP20 was “historic” given its aesthetic likeness to last year’s W10 by Mercedes.

“Look, I thought a lot of what Otmar said was accurate,” said Brown.

“I’m not an engineer. I don’t know the rulebook first page to the last page but as CEO you have a racing team and it’s their job to know the rulebook and the regulations.

“In my time here leading McLaren I’ve never been fined a dollar, let alone $400,000. I’ve never been docked points.

“I think Otmar thought it was seven-and-half points until Sky Television pointed out it was 15 points.

“As far as historic racing, I think people that know me, know I enjoy historic racing and I’d invite Otmar to come join me because he’s got a historic car that he’s currently racing.

“So you know, that’s all part of the race weekend fun.”

While McLaren has withdrawn its appeal, Renault has doubled down, Abiteboul suggesting that Racing Poing should have all points stripped from races where it was protested against.

As it stands, McLaren sits fourth in the Constructors’ Championship on 53 points ahead of Racing Point which now lies fifth on 43 points.

If not for the penalty, the team would be ahead of McLaren with 56 points. Renault, meanwhile, sits sixth with 36 points.

Brown said that he anticipates further measures may be taken by the FIA to ensure a repeat of the brake duct issue doesn’t occur.

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