F1 risked abandoning "every principle of racing" in Austria

Formula 1 would have “moved away from every single principle of racing” had Max Verstappen been punished in this year’s Austrian Grand Prix, believes Christian Horner.

F1 risked abandoning "every principle of racing" in Austria

Verstappen’s Red Bull team boss Horner believes the 21-year-old’s robust pass on Charles Leclerc for victory at the Red Bull Ring has proven to be a key decision by the FIA stewards. 

A lengthy post-race investigation ended with no further action and has been followed up an attitude from officials that Horner believes will encourage harder racing – something F1 personnel and fans have called for to combat too many penalties.

Horner told Motorsport.com: “Of course, you never know which way the stewards are going to go but to me it was so clear cut. [For] every driver from karting upwards, it would have moved away from every single principle of racing.

“In a move like that, the door was left open, Max was slightly ahead at the apex and from an onboard [camera perspective] it was up to him to dictate the corner. For me, there should never have been any doubt, but obviously the stewards had to have a good look at it.”

After the race in Austria, Verstappen engaged in a fierce fight with Leclerc at Silverstone, where they went wheel-to-wheel again, and the FIA has subsequently communicated with teams and drivers to try to establish clearer ground rules for racing.

 “I think the biggest loser would have been the fans,” said Horner on the consequences of a Verstappen penalty in Austria. “It was a great race, it was exciting and I think it was the right outcome not to meddle and interfere.

“It was exactly what F1 fans want to see, close wheel-to-wheel racing. If it had been the other way round, had it been Leclerc overtaking [Verstappen], then I’d have been annoyed but I’d have felt the same. 

“We’ve looked through a bunch of incidents with [race director] Michael Masi to say that 90 percent of them are racing incidents, so let them race. Unless it’s dangerous and we’re penalising for an unintended consequence of an action, just let them race.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, leads Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, leads Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Dom Romney / LAT Images

shares
comments
Can Ocon join Alonso among F1's comeback success stories?

Previous article

Can Ocon join Alonso among F1's comeback success stories?

Next article

Kvyat podium a "reward" for Toro Rosso helping Honda

Kvyat podium a "reward" for Toro Rosso helping Honda
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Scott Mitchell
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021