Zak Brown just bought a factory tour of Red Bull Racing!

Up and down the pitlane, F1 teams rival in ingenuity to get a sneak peak at what’s going on under the skin of a competitor’s design, but McLaren’s Zak Brown wants to see where it’s all coming from.

Spy games have always been part of Formula 1, but whereas in the golden age of motorsport, before the era of closed garages or concealing screens, when an engineer would just walk up to Colin Chapman’s latest creation in the pitlane and freely eyeball the design, today’s snooping involves various ploys and tactics to gain knowledge.

Teams employ photographers who snap cars from all angles, on and off the track, while Red Bull tech boss Adrian Newey can often be seen strolling on the grid before a race, peering at anything of interest to his designer’s eyes, and sending the good people at Ferrari into a frenzy whenever he pauses for a gaze at the red cars.

But Brown has taken the gamesmanship to the next level, although it’s all for a good cause.

The Halow Project – promoted and supported by 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill – is a charity which supports young people with learning disabilities on their journey into and through adulthood.

The charity set up an auction this week, with one of the prizes being a guided tour of Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory by Mr. design guru himself Adrian Newey.

For Brown, the opportunity to get a glimpse into the sanctuary where it all happens for Red Bull was too good to pass up, so the McLaren boss forked out a generous amount for the privilege.

However, valuable intel will be hard to come by for Brown.

“Nothing to see there Zak, moving on…”

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Verstappen: Singapore is 'a wake-up call' for Red Bull

Max Verstappen says Aston Martin Red Bull Racing must consider the Singapore Grand Prix as “a little wake-up call” after the team failed to deliver on its own expectations at Marina Bay.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit was singled out as a top contender for top spoils ahead of last weekend’s event, but from qualifying to race day, Verstappen were never really in the chase.

The Dutchman was happy to be back on the podium in Singapore after a botched race in Spa and a P8 finish at Monza. But ultimately, Verstappen was logically disappointed by his trip to Asia.

©RedBull

“It was not good enough,” said Verstappen. “We came here to win and we clearly didn’t.

“I would say it’s a little wake up call. From Austria onwards I would say it’s our worst race in terms of performance where we expected to be really good.

“I have a few ideas why it went wrong so we will analyse all of them and see if we can already be better at Sochi.

“The layout is not amazing for us but you can clearly see if the car is working through corners or not.”

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko told Austrian broadcaster ORF that Red Bull’s relative under-performance at Marina Bay was perhaps linked to a correlation issue between simulator data and actual performance.

“The problem was in the simulator, we were totally misled there,” said Marko.

“The simulator is the basis of our setup for the race weekend, so if it is not right from there then you are in trouble.

“The problem is that we set up our chassis much too stiffly, which meant we lacked stability. We also had too little downforce.”

©RedBull

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey said the team had likely extracted the most it could from its race.

“We weren’t very happy with our qualifying performance, so from fourth on the grid, third is probably the best we could hope for,” Newey told Motorsport.com.

“Mercedes took a risk that by boxing we would get held up by the cars that we then had to overtake.

“We got through, and the trouble was that the option tyre was dropping off so quickly that Lewis wasn’t actually going any quicker than [Antonio] Giovinazzi at the head of that train.”

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