Red Bull boss Christian Horner did himself and Formula 1 no favours with comments he made after Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided during a hectic first lap at the 2021 British Grand Prix
But he insists that they were not a personal attack on the seven-time World Champion
In the immediate aftermath of the collision, Horner was quick to accuse Hamilton of “dirty driving” after the Mercedes driver survived the on-track altercation and went on to win the race, the comments hammered a wedge between the two teams and their supporters.
Furthermore, unsatisfied with the FIA Stewards decisions That Sunday, Red Bull petitioned them to review the coming together, citing new evidence. This was turned down yesterday.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference at Hungaroring on Friday, Horner explained why his team pursued a review of the collision: “Obviously there is the right to review that we utilised because we felt that, having looked at the data from the accident and the severity of the accident…
“There was data that wasn’t available at the time of the stewards making their decision. We presented that data to the stewards.
“They gave us a fair hearing yesterday where we were talked through that data, the positioning of the cars, the speed of the cars, the fact that Lewis would have had to have braked 23 metres earlier to have even made the corner, the fact that Max was on the same trajectory as identical to that of Charles Leclerc [in a separate overtake Hamilton completed, that the result with Charles would have been identical had Lewis taken the same approach.
“The stewards felt that it wasn’t new evidence under the confines of the regulations and so it wasn’t opened into another hearing, so we accept that. This competition is all about marginal gains and leaving no stone unturned. And of course, when you have an accident of that velocity and impact then, of course, you’re going to make a full investigation,” added the Red Bull boss.
Clearly looking to move on from the saga, Horner said: “As far as we’re concerned the chapter is now closed, the stewards have made their ruling and we now very much focus on this weekend and the remaining part of the championship.”
Inadvertently or not, Red Bull’s collective reaction, in the aftermath, launched a tirade of unacceptable abuse directed at Hamilton, which Horner to his credit diffused: “It’s absolutely not a personal attack on Lewis Hamilton.
“Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time world champion and everything that he’s achieved stands for itself. If it was any other competitor on the grid, we would have taken the same issue in the manner that we did.
“Obviously at the time emotions are running high. We’ve got a driver that’s needing to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks after an accident which would have definitely knocked out your average human being.
“We lost a car in its entirety under a budget cap environment for something that the stewards didn’t deem to be Max’s fault. So there’s nothing personal about it. But even a seven-time world champion can sometimes make mistakes or misjudgements.
“That’s just a fact of life, but at no point has this been personal about Lewis,” added Horner, stopping just short of making an apology.