Nyck de Vries had told a Dutch publication that the promise is “spelled out in black and white” in his contract, “and that’s what Zak told me”.
“The same conditions apply to Norris,” Dutchman de Vries added.
But McLaren executive Brown denies it.
“That is not an accurate reflection of the conversation,” he said in Bahrain. “But Nyck’s a very good driver and McLaren will always look to put the two best drivers that it can in the car.
“No one has any promises from McLaren verbally or contractually as to who is going to be in our car in 2019,” Brown insisted.
And suddenly, 23-year-old de Vries is not willing to talk about the topic at all.
“Unfortunately I can’t,” he said in Bahrain. “You shouldn’t ask anything else about it because I cannot answer.”