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Horner hits out at "amateur" Hamilton

NEWS STORY
18/07/2021

Red Bull boss, Christian Horner has hit out at Lewis Hamilton, calling the seven-time world champion an "amateur" and his eighth Grand Prix win as "hollow".

His comments follow today's controversial first lap clash which saw Max Verstappen hospitalised after a collision with the world champion just nine corners into the race.

While many see the incident as a racing incident, the stewards penalised the British driver claiming that he failed to avoid contact with the Dutchman, subsequently handing him a 10s penalty, though he went on to win the race.

Naturally, the clash has resulted in a war of words.

"Max has incurred a 51g accident," Horner told Sky Sports. "Lewis Hamilton is an eight-time world champion, he shouldn't be making manoeuvres like that. It's unacceptable.

"Thank goodness, the biggest result for us today is that he's uninjured," he added, though he's having to go to hospital.

"I hope Lewis is very happy with himself, he stuck a wheel up the inside in a corner you just know you don't do that. You just don't stick a wheel up the inside at Copse, in that corner, in those circumstances.

"He was nowhere near ahead," he insisted, "it was contact, left front to right rear, and the speed they're travelling, it's one of the fastest corners in the championship.

"Lewis has got more than enough experience to know that's unacceptable and, as I say, I'm just very disappointed that a driver of his calibre should make such a move. It's dangerous, he's put a competitor at risk, it looked desperate and thank goodness he was uninjured. Max is in hospital getting himself checked out.

"I don't care what Lewis has to say, have a look on your own analysis, draw your own comparisons, for me, that's a hollow victory."

In a subsequent Zoom press conference, when it was suggested that Hamilton was alongside Verstappen, Horner was quick to respond.

"He didn't," he snapped, "he ran wide. If you look at the overhead, he's run wide into the corner. He's carried too much speed.

"That move was never on," he continued. "Lewis is a world champion of seven titles. That was an amateur's mistake and a desperate mistake. I don't care what Lewis says. Have a look at your own analysis, draw your own comparisons. For me, that's a hollow victory.

"Putting a fellow driver in hospital, writing off the car, and receiving a menial penalty and winning the grand prix doesn't feel like much of a penalty," said the Briton. "I think it just felt like a desperate move from Lewis. He lost the start, went down the straight, wheel banging with Max down there, then to stick a wheel up the inside of Copse corner, one of the fastest corners in the championship, pretty much flat out, 180 mph, there's only ever going to be one consequence like that.

"It's just disappointing from a seven-time world champion that he makes such a desperate move and puts a fellow driver in hospital."

Indeed, Horner believes that after claiming pole for Saturday's Sprint, but subsequently losing out to his title rival, Hamilton was left frustrated.

"I think he was wound up by yesterday's result," he said, "you could see that yesterday. And I think, the atmosphere, the crowd and everything, he was obviously pretty motivated and made a massive misjudgement. Yes, he got a penalty for it, but it's fairly meaningless.

"That was his only opportunity... he knew had Max come through that corner, he might not have seen him again for the afternoon. For me, it was a desperate move that thankfully didn't have worse consequences than a written-off car and a bruised and battered driver."

However, Red Bull's Lord High Executioner, Helmut Marko went further, suggesting that the seven-time world champion deserved a race ban.

"You can't do that with the normal sporting code," he told Sky Germany. "I don't know what the maximum penalty would be, but such dangerous and reckless behaviour should be punished with a suspension or something.

"If a competitor massively touches your rear wheel with his front wheel, in the fastest corner of the course, then that's no longer a racing accident. That is negligent to dangerous behaviour.

"The replays showed that quite clearly, he went into our right rear wheel with his left front wheel and sent Verstappen into the barrier."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 25/07/2021 22:45

"I thought that Hamilton was very erratic in his racing that first half lap. I didn't view it as good racing at all. "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Pavlo, 21/07/2021 23:02

"@GWS, kenji - when overtaking Leclerc, Hamilton did hit the apex, therefore was within the rules, no matter where was Leclerc at this point. With Max the question is whether he would manage to hit the apex, and if not (and this is the opinion of the stewards AND Mercedes own personnel) - it’s totally different case.
But Max after Austria 2019 claimed it’s totally out to push out when overtaking inside, so karma returns."

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3. Posted by Oil Leak77, 21/07/2021 19:31

"Hamilton taking Webber out at Canada 2011 similar mental breakdown, then the disgraceful and danerous move taking Button out.
Lauda, Fittipaldi and Stewart all called Lewis dangetous back then ."

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4. Posted by kenji, 20/07/2021 1:26

"@ GWS...!st. observation.'Front left hits rear right'..... 2nd. observation...trace trajectory re apex. Hamilton was never going to make that corner without pushing Verstappen off. Hamilton knew that Verstappen had to turn in and he failed to give way. That alone is either negligent or intended. What you need to do is simply focus on what the stewards said and did after all they have immensely more data upon which to make a decision. Finally, you say that Hamilton is one of the cleanest on the grid! He blatantly drove Rosberg off the first corner at COTA with no penalty, he crashed into Rosberg and took both of them out, he drove Webber off the track at Monaco and there are others to recall. Hamilton is not the cleanskin that you propose. For the record I have very little support for either driver or their respective teams and I have been a massive critic of Verstappen in the past. In this instance I have put that dislike to one side and looked at the incident with an open mind. I stand by my comments. I do look forward eagerly to the Hungarian GP to see if there is any retribution on offer....could be rather interesting. Just as an aside...quoting Hamilton'
s pass on Leclerc..you are aware ,I presume ,that Leclerc took the widest possible line, actually almost off the track... for no other reason than he didn't relish being pushed off by Hamilton!!!"

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5. Posted by Great_white_shark, 19/07/2021 21:17

"12sparkplugs and kenji do not seem familiar with the rules. Perhaps they should take a look at the FIA document Toto was talking about as you can find a copy if you look around. The move was 100% within the rules but the stewards said " yeah ok its legal but not in a fast corner like this one...". Nothing in the rules to say you cant overtake in certain corners and Lewis overtook Leclerc and Norris in the same corner in the same race without incident because they were not defending aggressively like Max always does. Max is the most aggressive driver and Lewis is possibly one of the cleanest on the grid. Lewis is the only one who suffered an injustice yesterday as he was perfectly allowed to pull the move on Max"

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6. Posted by F1 Yank, 19/07/2021 17:32

"I would have to agree with Kenji and 12sparkplugs on this one. If the drivers want to continue their "gentleman's agreement" then ok but if you want to set a different standard, then everyone on the grid can "punt" the guy in front of you to gain a position. The secondary is unbecoming of F1."

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7. Posted by kdxrider, 19/07/2021 16:16

"The only "desparate" move I saw was Verstappen trying to slam the door on Hamilton --- at 180mph! He is famous for it only it didn't work out for him this time. As for Horner, he hasn't changed his attitude since the Vettel days --- "

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8. Posted by Redphyve, 19/07/2021 13:00

"And is just me or did Ted completely wuss out while interviewing Christian Horner? "

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9. Posted by Burton, 19/07/2021 12:32

"This from the team that deliberately took their own driver from the points..."

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10. Posted by Castor, 19/07/2021 12:24

"ROFL! Dose of your own, Mr V!

Psychological advantage:- Hamilton/Mercedes."

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11. Posted by husoi, 19/07/2021 9:55

"That 2 faced Horner already forgot when his kid pushed Hamilton out of track?
Karma have already worked for him..."

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12. Posted by Lapps, 19/07/2021 7:34

"I suspect that karma is sitting quietly in the corner waiting on this one. It’s not over!"

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13. Posted by equator180, 19/07/2021 4:26

"12sparkplugs, you are correct but maybe not if you are British"

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14. Posted by pap_pap_c, 19/07/2021 4:03

"Is there anyone in F1 more guilty of double talk than Christian Horner? Had it been the other way around he would have been outraged and complaining loudly over a 10 second penalty for a racing incident. "Amateur"? Does he even know the meaning of the word? How can a 7-time world champion, 8-time British GP winner be an amateur?"

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15. Posted by kenji, 19/07/2021 3:56

"Despite all the hoo har surrounding this incident it is quite obvious that Hamilton was totally at fault [ the images don't lie ] and that is supported by the stewards decision. The only issue that I have a problem with is the severity of the penalty and IMO it was too tame and once again showed disparate leniency towards Hamilton. Can you possibly imagine what would've occurred had the roles been reversed.... there would've been a massive eruption of public anger and we all know where that leads given the events of the past week."

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