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Horner handed official warning

NEWS STORY
21/11/2021

Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner has been given an official warning after accusing the flag marshal who waved the double yellow flag in Q3 as being a "Rogue Marshal".

With the stewards announcing their decision, which saw Max Verstappen handed a 5-place grid penalty, just 90 minutes before the start of the race, talking to Sky Sports, Horner expressed his frustration.

"I think it's just a rogue marshal that's stuck a flag out and he's not been instructed to by the FIA," he said. "They've got to have control of their marshals. It's as simple as that because that's a crucial blow in this world championship for us. We're starting P7 at a track you can't overtake at, that is massive.

"I think there needs to be some grown-ups making grown-up decisions," he added. "Just having binary, somebody sticks a yellow flag out, it's just frustrating.

"I think the race director should have control of the circuit. He's the referee at the end of the day and otherwise anybody, you get a marshal that decides to stick a yellow flag out. How does that work?"

Horner explained to the stewards that the comments were made under the pressure of competition following the penalty imposed on Verstappen.

However, the stewards explained that the marshal concerned was doing his job in precisely the manner prescribed in the International Sporting Code.

Horner offered to apologise to the marshal concerned and to explain to the media that he meant no offense, he also offered to participate in the 2022 FIA International Stewards Programme in early February.

Speaking to Sky after the hearing, Horner explained: "Some comments were made, I think, in our interview earlier where you asked me about the marshalling and I'd like to make it clear that marshals do a wonderful, wonderful job.

"They are volunteers, and they do a great job. And my frustration in what I voiced earlier wasn't at marshals, it was at a circumstance.

"So if any offence was taken by any individual, then obviously I apologise for that. But it's still frustrating to end up with the situation that we had.

"I apologised if any offence in any way was created, because it wasn't the intention," he continued. "My frustration wasn't with an individual marshal. It was with a situation where one car had driven through, there was no yellow. One car gets a single yellow, one car gets a double yellow. So it's the inconsistency across that.

"We can learn from that. As a sport we can learn from that, but all the marshals out there: we need you, we think you do a wonderful job. And apologies if any offence was interpreted."

Asked if his comments were a result of the pressure of the championship getting to him, he said: "I think we've actually been fairly pretty good without our emotions. I haven't been pointing and swearing at cameras or that kind of thing.

"I'm straight. I tell you what I think. If I think you are being an arse, I will tell you you are being an arse."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 23/11/2021 7:54

"@greg, you are spot on with the way it happens.
Marshals are often the eyes for race control, not the other way round.
Modern tracks have lights with physical flags as backup and some restart procedures as well as covering vehicles on track such as recovery.
I've only marshalled up to GT3 and TRS level and even there things happen so fast that you have to make the best call you can as you see it and react as trained.
Race control can always overide a marshal point once they have all the necessary information.
I think double waved yellow is usually for when there is marshals on track recovering debris or a stopped vehicle, a single yellow is what would normally be used if a car has an issue like what 10 did on Saturday but F1 rules could be different.
Regardless, the drivers have to back off until the next green "flag"."

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

2. Posted by Editor, 23/11/2021 7:42

"A highly reliable source informs us:


The signal lights system was introduced by Bernie Ecclestone because flag waving marshals were and are unreliable at many circuits.

I doubt that the flagmen yesterday were local people, more likely they came from Bahrain or Abu Dhabi and inexperienced with local conditions, the communications setup, etc.

The important point is that the FOM lights system is supposed to be the reliable and senior system. Why was it not working (if indeed it wasn’t ) and why could not the teams advise drivers of the yellow condition at that corner?

If the system was down did the FIA Race Director give the order, by radio, directly to display the flag? I very much doubt it for normally the order would be relayed by the local Clerk of the Course and often in the local language if other than English so all track personnel, including rescue crews, would be made aware of the situation.

Therefore I have a little sympathy for Horner who suspected the flag was displayed by an overzealous marshal without an order. I cannot see how a few ill-chosen words from him justifies waving the Sporting Regulations thrown from the bench by irate judges.

In the circumstances a warning to the drivers, Bottas included, should have been the sensible action if only to avoid the inevitable conspiracy theories so damaging to the sport"

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Greg, 22/11/2021 15:40

"Abu Dhabi uses around 30 flag marshal points but uses only about 20 FIA electronic points. This was a few years back now for me"

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4. Posted by kenji, 22/11/2021 10:41

"Surely a series of light panels could be suspended overhead at intervals around the circuit which are central to the track and always within the drivers line of sight could be easily implemented. This would help eliminate any confusion or, at the very least, reduce the possibility of spotting a flag too late. A low tech solution. I do find it terribly impressive when watching drivers drive and at the same time carry out the myriad of other activities just to stay on track let alone race wheel to wheel. Joe Average would struggle...."

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5. Posted by Greg, 22/11/2021 8:29

"With corrected spelling :-)
by Greg, less than 1 minute ago

"Its not the FIA that directs the flag marshals. Given that the race director and his crew are sometimes looking at 40 or more video screens in Race Control they do perhaps miss incidents at first, that marshals on the spot will see and react accordingly. In F1 they are for sure told the blue flag as cars are being overlapped, but as for yellow, double yellow etc. the marshal can also make the call before being told by race control. There is normaly a post chief who will call the flag and a marshal to wave the flag. The Post Chief normally has several years experience and training. The marshals are all volunteers. "

"

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6. Posted by Greg, 22/11/2021 8:26

"Its not the FIA that directs the flag marshals. Given tht the ra e director amd his crew are sometimes looking at 40 or more video screens in Race Control tbey do perhaps mias incidents at first, that marshals on the spot will see and react accordingly. In F1 they are for sure told the blue flag as cara arw being overlapped, but as for yellow, double yellow etc. the marshal can alao make the call beforw being told by race control. There ua normaly a post chief who will call the flag and a marshal to wave the flag. The Post Chief normally has several years experience and training. The marshals are all volunteers. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by kenji, 22/11/2021 0:59

"The gloves are off and what a spectacle we are witnessing....at least it has the effect of lessening the boredom at times! I do support Horner, to a degree, as I think that an organisation based on technical/engineering proficiency should have a failsafe system that eliminates any confusion. Watching the replays I am amazed that anyone spotted the 'yellow flags' at all given the intensity of driving in the light conditions and all the other distractions that the driver has to contend with. Yes, he was wrong to nominate an individual, but that should not be a hanging offence. The innuendo [ 'F...them all' ] issued by Mercedes Principal and aimed at the FIA is hardly much different to that of Horner, yet they have escaped any sanction...."

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8. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 21/11/2021 22:11

"Always one for a conspiracy theory :) :)

I wonder if the marshal was in fact wearing a Mercedes t-shirt and decided to wave a double-yellow just as Max was arriving?"

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9. Posted by jcr, 21/11/2021 20:20

"The sad part is He was right !!!.
No instructions from race director for double yellows "

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10. Posted by Superbird70, 21/11/2021 19:19

"I am surprised that he didn't blame Gasly for blowing a tire and causing the yellow. He jumped all over Tsunoda in Mexico. It's never Red Bull's fault."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

11. Posted by SF 158, 21/11/2021 18:48

"Christian concludes, "I'm straight. I tell you what I think. If I think you are being an ****, I will tell you you are being an ****."

So, Christian, if you're being an ****, "heat-of-the-battle" inexcusable excuse or not, then there's an Official Warning waiting for you.

And, yes, Christian, YOU "can learn from that.""

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12. Posted by kdxrider, 21/11/2021 18:25

"Ever since Silverstone, the Sky team have allowed Horner to get up on a soapbox a waffle on about anything he doesn't like. He had the team as an audience again today and Horner went at it. The FIA should have thrown the book at him --"

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13. Posted by USA1, 21/11/2021 18:02

"Common sense we know it was for the grid penalty and not for the individual Marshall, it’s just really sad to see what F1 is becoming, it’s getting more political with the race it use to be so much fun to watch it! (Sad)"

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14. Posted by Roli, 21/11/2021 18:02

"Yup Christian, chuck all your toys out of the pram!"

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