Christian Horner’s honest admission over Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton Brazil incident

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes it would have been unfair to penalise Max Verstappen for his defence against Lewis Hamilton at the Brazilian Grand Prix – even though he admitted he would have complained, too. Hamilton had one of his great drives to climb from P10 – after suffering a five-place grid penalty due to a new engine – and take the chequered flag at Interlagos.

The result means the Brit has closed the gap on championship leader Verstappen ahead of the final three races.

On lap 48 of the race on Sunday, the two rivals were battling for the lead with Hamilton’s Mercedes appearing to narrowly edge ahead of the Red Bull, which was on the inside. 

Verstappen ran wide and the move forced both drivers off the track, with the Dutchman holding the lead for a few more laps before the seven-time world champion finally took the lead.

While Hamilton took the lead and win anyway, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Verstappen should have received a penalty. 

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However, Horner disagrees and feels it was a simply a racing incident – even though he admitted he would complain if it was the other way around.

“It’s two guys running hard,” Horner told Sky Sports.

“Lewis got a run around the outside and Max has gone in deep.

“It would have been really unfair to penalise that. 

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“If it was the other way around, I’d have told my Sporting Director to have a moan about it, but I wouldn’t have expected anything from it.”

The incident was noted by the stewards, but both Red Bull and Mercedes were informed by the FIA that no investigation was deemed necessary.

The move was deemed to be a racing incident to the delight of Horner, who believed the decision was correct as the two rivals didn’t collide.

“There’s no advantage gained, there’s no contact made,” Horner added.

“I think it’s just hard racing between the two. I think the stewards actually made the right decision on that. 

“We’ve talked about this many times, the ‘let them race’ mentality, and I think they made the right call.”

Hamilton’s sensational win means the title race is wide open with just three more venues remaining: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. 

Formula 1 travels to the Losail Circuit for the Qatar Grand Prix on November 21, with Red Bull star Verstappen holding a 14-point lead over Mercedes’ Hamilton.

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