Horner tallies up cost of Verstappen crash: $1.8 million!

Christian Horner says Max Verstappen's Silverstone crash has set Red Bull Racing back by an estimated $1.8 million,... The post Horner tallies up cost of Verstappen crash: $1.8 million! appeared first on F1i.com.

Horner tallies up cost of Verstappen crash: $1.8 million!

Christian Horner says Max Verstappen's Silverstone crash has set Red Bull Racing back by an estimated $1.8 million, a significant amount that will have "massive ramifications" for the team's budget cap.

Red Bull suffered a big blow on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix when Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at Copse corner.

In addition to the big points deficit that has allowed Mercedes and Hamilton to close in on Red Bull and Verstappen in F1's respective championships, the financial penalty for the Milton Keynes-based squad is painful, especially within the context of this year's $145 million cost cap limit.

With teams constrained financially, any unforeseen expense such as replacing a chassis and other hardware or componentry will inevitably come out of Red Bull's 2021 budget, which could imply less capital available for next year's car, the development costs of which are included in this year's budget.

In his online column for Red Bull, Horner also confirmed that his team is still weighing its options regarding contesting with the FIA the 10-second penalty handed to Hamilton by the stewards "for causing a collision" at Silverstone.

©Formula1

"It is no secret that we felt at the time, and still feel, that Hamilton was given a light penalty for this type of incident," wrote Horner.

"Given the severity of the incident and the lenient penalty, we are reviewing all data and have the right to request a review. We are therefore still looking at the evidence and considering all of our sporting options.

"The other significant factor is the cost-cap element of this. That crash has cost us approximately $1.8million and an accident like that has massive ramifications in a budget cap era."

Further addressing last weekend's clash, Horner responded to Toto Wolff's reaction to Red Bull's criticism of Hamilton and Mercedes. The Austrian admitting to feeling troubled by the "personal" attacks and the language used by Red Bull's top brass, namely Horner and motorsport boss Helmut Marko.

"I would like to respond to some comments I have seen from Toto, who is quoted as saying our comments regarding Hamilton having caused the accident were “so personal”," Horner said.

"I would like to make it clear. This was an on-track incident between two of the best drivers in the world.

"At the point in time when you have a driver in hospital and the extent of any injuries have not yet been made clear, your car has been written off and the stewards have penalised the driver seen to be responsible, it is natural that emotion comes into play, for all involved, whether you feel wronged or victorious.

  • Read also: Rosberg chimes in on Verstappen/Hamilton clash

"I also felt the narrative that Max was being ‘overly aggressive’ at that stage was unjustified.

"You only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years.

"The aggressive 17-year-old F1 rookie Max Verstappen that Hamilton is referring to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the sport.

"Both drivers are of course uncompromising in their driving style, but they are both highly skilled drivers with a great deal of experience.

"The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday."

Finally, Horner once again expressed his disappointment with the Mercedes team's post-race celebrations at Silverstone, conducted while Verstappen was in hospital undergoing a battery of medical checks.

"I am also still disappointed about the level of celebrations enjoyed in the wake of the accident," commented Horner.

"The Mercedes team were aware of the gravity of the crash with Max widely reported as having been hospitalised and requiring further checks.

"It is unimaginable not to inform your driver of the situation, moreover to protect your driver in case they do not show the necessary restraint in celebrating, particularly when it was as a result of an incident he was penalised for."

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New sprint format 'could certainly be improved', says Binotto

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto remains cautious about Formula 1's new sprint qualifying format, and says that there... The post New sprint format 'could certainly be improved', says Binotto appeared first on F1i.com.

New sprint format 'could certainly be improved', says Binotto

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto remains cautious about Formula 1's new sprint qualifying format, and says that there need to be improvements if it's to become a regular part of the sport.

The new system was used for the first time at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last weekend, with Friday featuring a single hour-long practice followed by a qualifying session.

That set the starting order for a 30-minute sprint qualifying race on Saturday afternoon following a second final practice. The outcome of the sprint set the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix which was won by Lewis Hamilton.

While the new format was widely regarded as a success, Binotto was more reserved in his comments this week.

"The new format was an experiment for 2021 and we decided to try three races,” Binotto said, in comments reported by Motorsportweek.com. “I think after the first one it is a bit early to decide.

"We need a bit longer to digest it," he continued. "I think there are things that could certainly be improved like what could be done for Saturday morning, make it a bit more relevant."

The teams' main concern about the new format is that cars are effectively under parc ferme conditions from the start of qualifying, preventing them from working on any major elements of set-up.

That means the Saturday morning practice is effectively of little use, as the cars can't be tweaked in response to anything the teams spot in time for the sprint race without risking a pit lane start.

©Ferrari

Looking beyond that immediate concern, Binotto sounded as though he was yet to be entirely convinced about the initiative as a whole.

“The numbers from the TV audience will be important," he commented. "I don’t think you can have a final judgement right now. You need to wait for the two more opportunities to have a better picture.

"The race - the mini race or the sprint quali - was a bit strange for me," he added. "But as I said, we need to digest.”

Ferrari's home race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 12, has been confirmed as the second of the venues to host a trial of the new weekend format.

The third and final sprint weekend is likely to be a flyaway race late in the year, possibly at the Circuit of the Americas in the United States at the end of October.

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