Red Bull say that Max Verstappen’s collision with Lewis Hamilton in the British GP has cost the team around £1.3m in repairs.
Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team boss, said in a column on the team’s website on Friday night that they continue to consider whether to request a review of the incident and penalty issued to Hamilton by stewards.
Under the FIA’s International Sporting Code, competitors can request a right of review up to 14 days after a stewards’ ruling if “a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned”. The 14-day period expires on August 1, race day in Hungary next week.
Verstappen and Hamilton collided on the opening lap of last Sunday’s Silverstone race, with the Red Bull spinning off track at high speed and striking the barriers in an impact reported as 51G by his team.
Hamilton was found to have been ‘predominantly at fault’ by stewards and handed a 10-second penalty. After serving the sanction at his first pit stop, Hamilton raced back from fourth to pass Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with two laps to go for an eighth Silverstone win to cut Verstappen’s title lead from 33 to eight points.
Both sides blamed each other for the incident.
“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,” said Horner in his post-race column.
“Given the severity of the incident and the lenient penalty, 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.
“The other significant factor is the cost-cap element of this. That crash has cost us approximately $1.8million (£1.3m) and an accident like that has massive ramifications in a budget cap era.”
For the first time in F1’s history, budgets are limited on performance spending with teams limited to $145m for this year.
Horner also said that Verstappen’s seat had been broken in the impact with the Copse barriers.
The Red Bull chief was incandescent about the incident and Hamilton’s penalty in his Sky F1 interview immediately after the race.
“I would like to respond to some comments I have seen from Toto [Wolff], who is quoted as saying our comments regarding Hamilton having caused the accident were “so personal”,” said Horner.
“I would like to make it clear. This was an on-track incident between two of the best drivers in the world. At the point in time when you have a driver in hospital and the extent of any injuries have not yet been made clear, your car has been written off and the stewards have penalised the driver seen to be responsible, it is natural that emotion comes into play, for all involved, whether you feel wronged or victorious.
“I also felt the narrative that Max was being ‘overly aggressive’ at that stage was unjustified. You only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years. The aggressive 17-year-old F1 rookie Max Verstappen that Hamilton is referring to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the sport.
“Both drivers are of course uncompromising in their driving style, but they are both highly skilled drivers with a great deal of experience. The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday.”
Horner added they were now determined to bounce back at the Hungarian GP, the final round before F1’s summer break, this coming week.
What have Mercedes said since Sunday?
While Horner continues to feel Hamilton was at fault for the incident, Mercedes have already said they still consider the seven-time world champion’s penalty to have been “harsh”.
“We were concerned after the incident and prior to the restart to make sure that the stewards had read and were following the FIA’s internal guidance to stewards on the rights and wrongs of overtaking,” said Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison in the world champions’ latest race debrief video.
“Because as far as we are concerned, the manoeuvre that took place, the manoeuvre that Lewis did was absolutely in line with the FIA’s overtaking guide.
“If you are on the inside of the corner, overtaking on the inside of the corner, then the guidance requires that you are substantially alongside. It is not required that you are ahead, it requires that you are substantially alongside as you arrive at the corner. Lewis definitely was substantially alongside, he had his front axle well beyond the midpoint of Verstappen’s car. It requires you are substantially alongside and it requires that you must be able to make the corner.
“By make the corner it means go round the corner and not leave the track or lose control of the car. Those are the things you need to satisfy. If you can go round the corner, if you are substantially alongside the other car then the corner is yours. What that means is not that you have to emerge in the lead, what it means is that you do not have to cede your position, you do not have to back off and the other car has a duty to avoid hitting you.
“So, if you follow the notes that are provided to the FIA stewards and you look frame by frame at what happened with Lewis, he was substantially alongside, he absolutely would have made the corner and indeed did make the corner and therefore there was no need for him to cede any ground.
“So, I did feel that it was harsh to get the penalty. I realise not everyone agrees with that, but I still believe that to be the case.”