Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crashed on the opening lap of the British GP
Verstappen was out of the race and was sent to a local hospital
Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty but won the race
Red Bull F1 Team Principal Christian Horner is still upset. Nearly a week removed from an opening lap accident at Silverstone’s Copse Corner that put his driver Max Verstappen out of the race and in a local hospital, Horner said this week that the accident that destroyed their RB16B will cost the team $1.8 million and will have ‘massive ramifications’ for the rest of the F1 season.
Title leader Verstappen and his closest rival reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton got together on the first lap last Sunday in the British Grand Prix. The contact resulted in Verstappen sliding off the turn and hard into the wall at an estimated 51Gs. Hamilton would later be given a 10-second time penalty for the contact by the FIA stewards.
Horner said that after soon after the accident he did something he has never done in the 16 and a half seasons he’s been in F1.
“It was brought to my attention through the TV broadcast that Toto (Wolfe, Mercede’s team principal) was going to see the stewards with information he had tried to email to Michael before they had ruled on a penalty,” Horner wrote on the Red Bull team’s blog. “It is a little bit like trying to lobby a jury while they make their final verdict. The Stewards are locked away to ensure they are independent of external influence in order to reach their own conclusions.
“So having heard that Toto was lobbying the stewards, I went up to see them and raised the point that neither of us should be there and it was not appropriate for anyone to interfere while the decision making process was underway.”
The FIA did warn teams this week that visiting the stewards during a race without being summoned could face penalties.
As for Hamilton’s penalty.
“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,” Horner wrote.
Hamilton would serve his 10-second penalty during the race. He would go on however to win. If left up to Horner however, the penalties for Hamilton might not be over.
“Given the severity of the incident and the lenient penalty,” Horner said. “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.”
Verstappen was checked and released from the hospital and will be racing in Hungary next weekend. Horner, his driver, and the team are now focused on that.
“Max won’t dwell on anything from Silverstone and wants to do his talking on-track,” Horner said. “He is determined to put this incident behind him and use it as added motivation for the rest of the season, as are we.”