Brown: 'Vandoorne should have been more aggressive with us'

McLaren boss Zak Brown believes Stoffel Vandoorne should have perhaps displayed more character during his two-year stint in F1 with the Woking-based outfit.

Heralded as a bright young talent when he made the grid in 2017, Vandoorne’s failed to deliver on the team’s expectations, although the reverse also holds true given McLaren’s dismal period of under-performance, its worst in its 50-year history.

In short, the Belgian was in the right place at the wrong time, but Brown also wonders if his driver’s personality and character are suited for the fiercely competitive and cut-throat world of F1.

“Was he too corporate? No, I wouldn’t say that,” Brown said.

“He’s a very, very nice guy, but maybe he should have been a bit more aggressive with us.

“When Fernando doesn’t like something about the car, he does not hesitate to raise his voice. Maybe for Stoffel it was more difficult for him to do that in this environment.”

Fernando Alonso regards his current team mate as one of the best drivers of his generation, and the Spaniard hopes Vandoorne’s move to Formula E will be a successful one.

“Stoffel was unlucky to be with McLaren at this time, with the cars he had at his disposal in these two years,” he said, speaking to Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

“I think it’s a good thing for him to change. He won in every category he ever did, but Formula 1 is the only discipline in motor racing where talent is not enough to overcome the weaknesses of the car.”

Indeed, success in Formula E for Vandoorne would contradict the old silly saying that nice guys always finish last…

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Livid Arrivabene: 'Allison should be ashamed!'

Mercedes’ allegations of foul play by Ferrari expressed in the heat of the moment after Sunday’s British Grand Prix didn’t go down well with Scuderia boss Maurizio Arrivabene.

Kimi Raikkonen’s collision with Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, two races after Sebastian Vettel punted Valtteri Bottas out of the French Grand Prix, led Mercedes technical director James Allison to say that the red cars’ actions must either be deliberate or the result of incompetence.

Vettel labeled the claims as “silly”, insisting incidents happen when the racing is so close. But Arrivabene was outright shocked by Allisons’s words, as conveyed by Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

“Who is incompetent? Kimi? Who is he to judge what the drivers are doing in the car?” the Scuderia boss told Sky Italia.

“If he really said something like that, he should be ashamed!

“Allison worked at Maranello for many years, but now we are here in England teaching him to be a gentleman.

“I accept it from [Sky Italia pundit] Jacques Villeneuve because he was a driver. But this guy?”

Red Bull’s Christian Horner says the rhetoric is a clear indication that tensions between the Mercedes and Ferrari are reaching a boiling point amid the teams’ fierce world championship battle.

“When you have that growing tension, speculation is unavoidable when these incidents occur,” he said.

“But I believe it’s nothing more than a racing incident. I would be surprised if there was anything else or if Kimi is that kind of driver.”

In the German camp, Valtteri Bottas who enjoyed a momentous scrap with Vettel in the closing stages of the race, also played down the incident and the accusations.

“We are always racing closely with Ferrari and there can always be contact,” he said.

However, Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda commented: “The accident was just unfair. It was the second time a Ferrari has hit us in the first corner. That’s not funny.”

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