Fred Vasseur backs Zak Brown’s Red Bull/AlphaTauri criticism – F1 news roundup

Sam Cooper
Christian Horner looks at Zak Brown.

Zak Brown is not one to hesitate from saying how he feels.

If you thought F1 had settled down for the winter, think again after an open letter from Zak Brown caused a stir.

The McLaren CEO highlighted the relationship between Red Bull and AlphaTauri and suggested the FIA should look at such a dynamic.

Well Brown is not the only who seemingly has an issue with this…

Fred Vasseur speaks of ‘strange’ AlphaTauri situation

Ferrari are the oldest and biggest team on the grid and yet even they do not have two constructors under the same company.

That, Vasseur believes, needs to be policed more in the future.

“I think we have to police what the teams are doing with their junior teams, which maybe isn’t the right word.” Vasseur said at a Ferrari media lunch last week.

“For me, it is not the right way because, for me, Toro Rosso, AlphaTauri – or Minardi, I don’t know what is the next one! It’s true what they are doing together [with Red Bull] is a strange situation with two teams owned by the same company.

“But the FIA has been able to manage it so far – and I am sure they will be able to in future.”

Read more: Another F1 team boss shares discomfort with Red Bull-AlphaTauri ‘strange situation’

Zak Brown heaps praise on Fernando Alonso

Brown’s criticism of the rules was not the only thing he wrote in his letter but he instead took the time to praise former McLaren driver Fenrando Alonso.

He said: ““It was also great to see our former driver and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso proving that at 42, age is no barrier to success — scoring six podiums in the first eight races.”

Read more: Zak Brown praises former McLaren driver for return to F1 success

Bernie Ecclestone lends Adrian Newey a helping hand

Back when he was the king of all things F1, Bernie Ecclestone showed he had a softer side when he helped Adrian Newey in his time of need.

“I ended up with a fractured skull and luckily, Mandy, my wife and I had been with Bernie and Fabi Ecclestone the previous couple of days,” Newey recalled.

“I was not in a terribly good state. Mandy rang Bernie and said, ‘Look, this is not looking good. He’s looking a bit grey, we need to get him admitted’.

“So Bernie offered to put his boat on. His ex [Slavica] is Croatian, we were in Croatia, so he then rang his ex, who rang the prime minister, who rang the head of neurosurgery who was on holiday in Bosnia or something, but wheels moved to get me admitted very quickly.”

Read more: How Bernie Ecclestone helped Adrian Newey in his hour of need with a fractured skull

Carlos Sainz fears Max Verstappen yet to hit top gear

Speaking at a pre-Christmas sponsor event on behalf of Estrella Galicia in Madrid, Carlos Sainz details what it is about Max Verstappen that is perhaps most scary.

“I believe Max has not needed to go 100 per cent in all the races, and that is what scares me most of all,” Sainz said.

“That’s why I tell Ferrari that we do not need to improve four [tenths], but six. We have to see why in the race we are missing that little step.

“On Saturday we see that we are not that far away, but later in the race they have three tenths or half a second per lap that becomes 30 seconds at the finish line.

“I think we made the mistake of going in the wrong direction that the mid-2022 car showed us.

“We thought we were not that far away. It also happened to Mercedes.”

Read more: Carlos Sainz reveals what ‘scares me most’ about Max Verstappen