Red Bull boss Christian Horner insists he and his team are “very frustrated” after a collision during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix involving their driver Max Verstappen and title rival Lewis Hamilton, for which the pair were both summoned to the stewards. Horner appeared to apportion the blame for the incident on Mercedes driver Hamilton.
The two championship challengers collided on lap 37 with Hamilton smashing into the back of Verstappen as the Dutchman was ordered to give the second-placed Briton the lead of the race.
It is unclear whether either driver will be punished with completely contrasting viewpoints on the incident from either side, but the stewards will talk with both drivers.
Hamilton went on to win the first ever race in Saudi Arabia which means he and Verstappen head to the season finale in Abu Dhabi both on 369.5 points, albeit with the Red Bull ahead in the standings due to having one more win across the season.
Discussing the main flashpoint of a chaotic race on the Jeddah street circuit that was twice red-flagged, Horner said: “That was a race that was very difficult to manage. I think race control struggled it as well with the amount of debris and VSCs (Virtual Safety Cars), restarts, safety cars.
“I think we feel hard done by with the five-second penalty and in the incident where Lewis has driven up the back of Max.
“They’ll go and explain in front of the stewards, but Max was trying to give the place up. We informed race control we were going to give the place up.
“He lifted off, I think you can hear Lewis has lifted off. I don’t know if he was messing around for the DRS line there.
“It was clear that we were giving the place up. We’d informed race control. That was what we were going to do.
“There’d been a debate about it. Michael was adamant that you have a choice or it’s going to the stewards. At that point you know it’s going to be a penalty.
“So we said, ‘OK we’ll give the place up.’ We informed race control.”
The team principal added: “It’s weird. Lewis is slowing down behind him. It sounds like he’s lifting off. It’s like he didn’t want to pass him there because of the DRS.
“We were trying to give the place up. Lewis drives up the back of Max’s car and obviously we’ve picked up quite a bit of damage with that. Very, very frustrating. Very annoying.”
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