Horner stands pat on Verstappen and Hamilton run-in

Almost a week after last Sunday's incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull team boss Christian... The post Horner stands pat on Verstappen and Hamilton run-in appeared first on F1i.com.

Horner stands pat on Verstappen and Hamilton run-in

Almost a week after last Sunday's incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hasn't changed his mind on the two protagonists' responsibility in the clash.

The Italian Grand Prix stewards considered that Verstappen was "predominantly" to blame for the skirmish, sanctioning the Dutchman with a three-place grid drop at next week's Russian Grand Prix.

Horner initially viewed the run-in as racing incident but admitted that both drivers could have given each other more space.

In his post-race Red Bull column, Horner said that he hasn't changed his opinion, but in hindsight believes the FIA should have perhaps "made a statement" and punished both drivers.

“Both drivers knew they needed to be ahead because of the difficulty to overtake,” said Horner.

“Max was keen to seize the momentum and Lewis was eager to retain track position.

“It was an awkward shunt, but both drivers were instantly able to confirm they were ok.

“With Lewis trying to reverse and get back in the race, even the medical car didn’t see the need to deploy.

“I’m grateful the halo did its job. I think even the most vocal of doubters have now changed their mind about it.

“I still share the same belief today – both played a part in it and it is difficult to apportion blame to one side more than the other.

“If the FIA wanted to make a statement, they could’ve imposed the same penalty on both drivers, but the fault was deemed to be more on Max’s side and, because he didn’t finish the race, the only option was to give him a grid penalty, which we accept.”

Last weekend, Horner said the contact between F1's two title contenders had come about as a result of Verstappen's botched 11-second pit stop a few laps earlier.

It was a rare fumble by Red Bull's lightning-fast crews that Horner said was due to the FIA's clampdown on ultra-fast pitstops.

"There was a rare human error in our pitstop, as a result of the new technical directive but nonetheless something we need to learn from," Horner explained.

"That slow stop put Max out of synch from where he should’ve been on track.

"Mercedes compounded that situation as they faltered with their own stop on Hamilton's car, which meant both drivers were neck and neck."

  • Read also - Mercedes: Three-element protection saved Hamilton's life at Monza

Beyond the rivalry and the commotion, Horner said that Red Bull was enjoying its titanic battle and the long-awaited opportunity to finally give Mercedes and Hamilton a consistent run for their money.

“We’re witnessing one of the great sporting rivalries, not just within Formula 1, but within the sporting world for a generation,” he said.

“It’s intense and the stakes are high. It’s hugely competitive and nothing is being given up without a fight by either side.

“Also from our perspective, it’s hugely enjoyable to be back in a competitive position fighting for a world championship.

“After all, when was the last time a Mercedes car was not leading the championship at this stage of the year?”

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McLaren expects battle with Ferrari to carry on 'race to race'

McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown expects his team to carry on its battle for P3 in the Constructors'... The post McLaren expects battle with Ferrari to carry on 'race to race' appeared first on F1i.com.

McLaren expects battle with Ferrari to carry on 'race to race'

McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown expects his team to carry on its battle for P3 in the Constructors' standings with rival Ferrari, but says that some upcoming venues will likely better suit the Scuderia's SF21.

Daniel Ricciardo's win in the Italian Grand Prix and Lando Norris' runner-up spot at Monza delivered a healthy 45 points to the Woking-based outfit which now holds a 13.5-point lead over Ferrari in the championship.

While McLaren's win at Monza bodes well for the remainder of the season, Brown cautioned that not every upcoming track will cater to the qualities of the team's MCL35M package, which will leave Ferrari – which has yet to win a race this season - with an opportunity to outscore its opponent.

  • Read also: Ricciardo opens up on 'burning feeling' that fueled Monza win

"Ferrari didn’t have too bad a weekend, we just had a better weekend, they were not far behind," said Brown.

"That battle will carry on race to race, I think some tracks suit your car better than others, last year we were very quick in Monza, and we knew Zandvoort was not a circuit that plays to our strengths.

"If we look to the next seven to eight races, we see some there that will fall our way, some that will fall Ferrari’s way.

"We’ve always been good at Monza, so we need to recognise we’ll continue to have those up and downs while progressing up the grid."

©McLaren

Despite his cautious stance regarding the final leg of 2021, Brown acknowledged the importance of McLaren's timely triumph at Monza.

"It meant a lot to all of us," he said. "First, I think all at McLaren who have been working so hard the last five years, but I know it goes back 20, 30, 40 years for some.

"It was a big victory for the team, and our sponsor partners. A lot of them joined us when we were just making promises and now [we're] able to start fulfilling on some of those.

"We need to keep our feet on the ground, it was a great weekend, but we still have a way to go."

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