Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Horner: Stewards right not to penalise Hamilton for Verstappen clash

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was a racing incident.

Verstappen, who retired from the race as a result of the lap two collision, said the stewards should have investigated Hamilton. But Horner believes they were correct not to get involved.

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018
Bahrain Grand Prix in pictures
“It was a racing incident,” said Horner. “For me that is what racing is. [Verstappen] got the tow. He was always going to have to make a bold move. He got the majority done; Lewis was lucky not to lose his front wing.

“Ultimately the stewards made the right decision that it was a racing incident. As long as that is consistent racing throughout the year. Lewis was lucky not to come away with no damage, compromising… he had lost the corner, and at that point you have to have to give it up at some point.”

Race director Charlie Whiting confirmed the stewards noted the collision but felt there was no need to investigate it.

Verstappen suffered a puncture in the collision which caused further damage and led to his retirement, Horner explained.

“We will have to have a look at it but he started to lose hydraulic pressure and the driveshafts don’t like being at that angle. It is just an unhealthy attitude for the car to be in. If he had been half way around the lap… the fact that he had to do almost five kilometres like that, it was never going to be looking good.”

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  • 58 comments on “Horner: Stewards right not to penalise Hamilton for Verstappen clash”

    1. Horner is right..at some point you have to give up when you are losing out in the corner…Lewis didn’t..so he should have been reprimanded. I can imagine lewis touched Verstappen deliberatly to make sure he got a puncture..Hamilton is no angel. Verstappen is under his skin

      1. Take another look at the photo at the top of this article. Lewis is already at the track edge with Verstasppen’s rear wheel well behind the Merc’s nose. Max cut in too aggressively and paid the price for his impetuosity. Aidrian Newey’s response on the pit wall told us all that we need to know.

        1. Aidrian Newey’s response on the pit wall told us all that we need to know

          Actually, Adrian Newey’s response was for Ricciardo’s failure… at least in the coverage I saw.

      2. I guess it’s “cool” that Verstappen pulls these overly aggressive moves, but he shouldn’t cry when it goes wrong. Especially not when he is that far wrong.

        Verstappen purposefully drove Hamilton off the road. You see the whole ribbon of cars move to the right following the racing line while Verstappen keeps pushing left further and further away from the racing line towards the edge of the track.

        The only reason Verstappen was “ahead” was because he didn’t brake for the turn. Hamilton was ahead of Verstappen before they started braking. Which is what the stewards look for to decide who’s to blame when something goes wrong.

        So if anything, the stewards would have penalized Verstappen. Rosberg also got the penalty when he pulled the same dirty move against Verstappen in Hockenheim.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          8th April 2018, 20:23

          @patrickl
          It certainly seemed that Verstappen went far wider than necessary as you could see all the cars in front of him taking the normal line. Verstappen knew he had a car on the outside so he should have turned in tighter and then this wouldn’t have happened. Like you say, he braked late. And he also carried a lot of speed resulting in going wide. That is the only reason why it seemed he was fractionally ahead of Hamilton. This seems a bit like Hamilton/Rosberg Austria 2016. Hamilton attempted an overtake. Rosberg didn’t turn in much at all. Hamilton could have gone off track or turned in. He turned in and Rosberg hit him. Hamilton turned here (although pretty tight) and Verstappen hit him. But Verstappen could have gone much tighter. I can’t see how anybody thinks Hamilton is more at fault than Verstappen.

          1. Exactly. Plus like I said, the incident between Rosberg and Verstappoen in Hockenheim:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKbQsV1M43k

            Rosberg simply brakes way to late and even then he just keeps pushing out.

            It’s funny to read Verstappens reaction tho what Rosberg did to him in Hockenheim:

            He just doesn’t turn in or give space on the exit – and that’s not fair

            Both in Austria and Hockenheim, Rosberg got a penalty. So if there would have been a penalty, it would have been Verstappen getting a 5 or 10 second time penalty. I assume Horner knows this too and tries to play it cool since they got away with it.

            1. Well if it would be the other way arround Hamilton would have protested. He now even called Max names after the race. I bet the stewards would have given a penalty to Max when it was the other way arround. We have seen how the stewards acted last season.

      3. If you’re truly blaming Hamilton for this, then you’re what he called Max.

      4. Lewis didn’t..so he should have been reprimanded

        I suggest you watch a replay because he did back out, in fact Lewis was alongside Verstappen until he started backing out.

      5. So you want him to just stop and pull over and let Max through? you could tell Lewis gave up earlier than he should. Verstappen’s fault for shopping the front of the Merc

        1. Rules say Hamilton should have backed out… when he doesn’t it was his responsability to keep it clean…which it wasn’t.
          I just don;t agree with Horner, according to the rule Hamilton was in the wrong…racing incident, fine, but according to the rules he could have been penalized.

          “”If the driver on the inside is behind at corner exit, they must leave space for the driver on the outside. If the driver on the inside is ahead at corner exit, it is the duty of the driver on the outside to back out or take evasive action to avoid a collision.”

          1. No divebomber clause? That was a divebomb. I’m going to argue that that rule did not take divebombing into account.

      6. Lol good one. I doubt Hamilton is too bothered by Max especially given he is so error strewn. Right now RIC is showing VERS the way just by having a cool head. Max has alot of maturing to do.

    2. Here’s what gets me. Hamilton has done the very same thing countless times, and every time he always gets praised for it as a fantastic racer doing a fantastic overtake. I recall him doing it to Rosberg at the very same corner a few years ago, and of course it relies on the driver being passed to go off track or slow down to avoid a collision. But when somebody does it to Hamilton he refuses to budge, has a collision, and yet here people are blaming Verstappen for trying it.

      My personal view is that it shouldn’t be allowed as it’s attempting to push another driver off the track, but the inconsistency irritates me. One rule for Hamilton and another for everyone else?

      1. Just to be clear, I think the stewards have been consistent regarding this matter, it’s the reaction elsewhere that hasn’t

      2. @strontium Oh knock it off. Hamilton has never done this.

        Verstappen is pushing in the opposite direction of the racing line. That is not allowed.

        What you are talking about is a driver trying to stay on the racing line when he already lost the place. Then the lead driver is allowed to push the other driver off.

        Two completely different situations. The fact that you pretend to not see the difference is disgusting.

        1. @patrickl knock what off? I’ve shared my opinion based on how I saw it, I’m not pretending anything and I certainly don’t mean badly by it. You have a different opinion on what happened and that’s completely fair, please do share it, but you being disgusted by my opinion doesn’t change it

          1. @strontium No, you are purposefully twisting things around. Basically you are lying. So knock it off.

            Hamilton never pushed someone off track miles away from the racing line. Those are dirty moves that Rosberg and Schumacher pulled. Apparently now Verstappen too. Even though he was furious when Rosberg did it the same to him (and Rosberg DID got a penalty for it).

            1. @patrickl As I said, I’m sharing my opinion on how I saw it. Say it as much as you want to, I’m not going to ‘knock it off’. It seems strange to me to accuse somebody on the internet, that you have never met, of lying, but each to their own

            2. @strontium No this has nothign to do with opinion. You are lying.

              A) Defending the racing line is “fine”.
              B) Pushing people off track nowhere near the racing line is not.

              This is clearly sitaution B since the racing line is mile off to the right from Verstappen.

              Hamilton has never perpetraded something like B. Rosberg did. Twice even and got a penalty twice

            3. @patrickl You can keep telling me I’m lying but that doesn’t alter my opinion 😂

            4. @strontium you’re not lying. you’re just too obtuse to recognize the difference in situations.

            5. @andrewf1 That’s true, I’ll accept that

            6. @patrickl “Hamilton never pushed someone off track miles away from the racing line. Those are dirty moves that Rosberg and Schumacher pulled. Apparently now Verstappen too. Even though he was furious when Rosberg did it the same to him (and Rosberg DID got a penalty for it).”

              Said as he conveniently forgets US GP 2015.

            7. @robbie, Hamilton went for the racing line. Verstappen pushed Hamilton off on the OPPOSITE side of the track. The first is “allowed” the second is not.

              Seriously why are people like you posting on on an F1 forum if you can’t even understand what “racing line” means.

            8. @patrickl You’re confusing things. I’m not claiming any such thing of the incident between Max and LH on the weekend. I’d only urge you to refer to LH’s move on NR at the US GP in 2015, and tell me “Hamilton has never done this,” or “Hamilton never pushed someone off track miles away from the racing line.”

              Seriously…why do you think you have a monopoly on opinion on an F1 forum? What is your issue that you must resort to taking such an attitude? I haven’t invented that LH has done this before. It is there in the archives for all to see.

            9. @robbie This has nothing to do with opinion, but in facts. It’s really not that hard:
              1) Did Hamilton take the racing line in the US GP 2015? Yes he did. Rosberg ended up in the “disappearing wedge” and he should have yielded.
              2) Did Verstappen take the racing line in Bahrain 2018? No he didn’t. He shoved Hamilton off on the opposite side of the track. Hamilton has never done this.

              Huge difference. That you don’t understand the difference doesn’t mean the stewards are equally lacking in F1 insight. They do hand out penalties for drivers in situation 2 (ie Rosberg got two penalties) and never for situation 1.

              Where is the racing line?:
              https://i.imgur.com/6Gx4yXz.jpg

            10. @patrickl So there’s the problem. You yourself don’t know where the racing line is.

              1) At the US GP 2015 LH was nowhere near the racing line, having claimed understeer and even apologizing to the team on the radio for it, for moving Nico wide, so how you think LH, who admitted understeer, was taking the racing line is beyond me.

              2) How Max was not taking a racing line yesterday, yet LH was in 2015, is purely by your own choice of select ‘line taking’ to try to defend your own position. Again, to say Hamilton has never done this means you have decided not to refer to anything from 2015 USGP and would rather somehow try to say with one still photo from yesterday that Max was off the racing line. If Max was off the racing line then so is every driver guilty of that in every race, including LH on numerous occasions. You’re defending him beyond reason, especially since this was deemed a racing incident. In your book I would think the only thing acceptable is that drivers stay in line and never try to overtake in a corner, for to you there is only one racing line and trying to take someone on the inside or the outside is just not on…unless LH does it of course.

            11. Hamilton just had to make that silly “under steer” excuse because Toto Wolff had his ridiculous no contact rules in place, which Rosberg was abusing to the fullest.

              Still why on earth would I need to point to the US GP 2015? Hamilton clearly followed the same line which all the cars behind him followed. Hamilton was in front, had the rights to the racing line and stayed on it. Rosberg found himself in a disappearing wedge and should have yielded. It’s really that simple. We have hundreds of those examples. Never penalized.

              On the other hand, Verstappen wasn’t just “off the racing line”. Don’t insult your intelligence. He was miles away from it and pushing ever further. He simply did not turn in for the corner. Just like Rosberg didn’t when he got his two penalties.

              The only time Hamilton got close to something like this was when the whole field outbraked themselves after the start in Fuji 2008. Just about all drivers (apart from Raikkonen) outbraked themselves and many ended up in the runoff on the other side of the track. Those were the days of Alan Donnely (contractor for Ferrari) though and of course, only Hamilton got a penalty for it. Even though Kovalainen actually ran into Raikkonen while he skidded along the track.

              I’m pretty sure it was deemed a racing incident because it ended Verstappen’s race and Hamilton got the position back. No need to investigate anything after that. That’s how it works in F1 too. No harm no foul.

              Seriously though, with that hyperbole at the end of your uninformed post you just make yourself look even more ridiculous. I’m not saying anything weird. It’s clear as crystal that Verstappen’s move was exactly the same as Rosberg’s when Rosberg simply didn’t turn in and pushed miles away from the racing line taking the other car off track with him. On purpose.

              That’s what makes it a D… move. It’s pure bullying.

      3. “Here’s what gets me. Hamilton has done the very same thing countless times, and every time he always gets praised for it as a fantastic racer doing a fantastic overtake.”

        Here is what gets me, how many times hamilton bumped someone like he has been bumped and cut off like that? Hamilton is masterful at track positions, he doesnt risk much and not let the opponent in as often and when done, watch his videos, he has still room left! He has been burned by others countless times incl Rosberg doing it amateurishly and vengeful! This is a bloody race not 3rd world war! So many people confuse the two!

        Watch Ham’s moves! As aggressive as they are, they are fair… You wanna look at someone dangerous, look for the leader of the race… he has done so many with an attitude problem as well…

        What irritates you i think is his personal wealth and fame with his continuous dominance in the current era of F1! Success of an enemy always makes one side jealous and sour!

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          8th April 2018, 20:26

          @mysticus Is pushing drivers off the track “fair”?

          1. @mbr-9 Is pushing drivers off the track “fair”? well it has been cleared and never investigated if it is on the racing line! so your point? fair and rules are different things, if you are not on racing line and pushing another driver off, thats unfair and judged accordingly — mostly….
            @strontium he has been penalized many times as well! Not praising him, just stating that he does what he does within rules and every other driver behaves almost identical in racing lines, dont give an inch of space u dont have to!

            my personal view was that you made it sound like ham was special due to maybe his status? and you mentioned he was treated differently than all others… well thats what irritates me as usually haters says that and i think he was one of the most unfairly treated drivers out there! his then teammate Alo, stewards giving him undeserved penalties for exact same situations where people didnt get any penalty… etc… that was my justification of my thinking mate, i care about racing as much as you do, but when you make personal comments, you get personal replies… after all we are not professionals, but some people think other wise…

        2. @mysticus This is pretty much the reaction I am talking about. You’re praising Hamilton as being masterful at track positions, which I have no question he is very good, but there have been plenty of situations like this where he has risked a lot and collisions have been avoided as much due to the reactions of the defending driver, and you only have to look at how close Bahrain 2014 was, amongst plenty of others. I agree with you that Rosberg’s racecraft was never as good as Hamilton’s is, although that doesn’t change the point I’m making.

          I also don’t care about his personal wealth and fame, I don’t follow any of that. I’m sure some people do, but I’m not sure why you have decided to make that assumption about me. I care about the racing I am watching

      4. Michael Brown (@)
        8th April 2018, 20:24

        @strontium There isn’t an inconsistency, though. Any driver who does that kind of move doesn’t get penalized, and most call it “hard racing.” It’s just that in this situation, Verstappen tried to do it to a driver who refused to be bullied off the track.

        For example, Vettel forced Hamilton off the track in the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix. No penalty or investigation. This kind of move is fine according to the stewards as long as the driver pushing the other off stays on the racing line. For example, Magnussen ran very wide, off the racing line to force Hulkenberg off the track in the Hungarian Grand Prix, and he was penalized for it.

        1. @mbr-9 This is a completely different situation. Verstappen didn’t stay on the racing line. He went further and further away from it.

          Rosberg did this twice in 2016 and in both cases he DID get a penalty. So in all fairness, Verstappen should have gotten one here too.

        2. @mbr-9 Firstly, thank you for the polite and well constructed response, and not taking my comment in the wrong way. Indeed, as I acknowledged above, the stewards are consistent with this. On the whole most people call it hard racing, you are right, but it seems that there are a few vocal people who seem to have different opinions based on the drivers involved. That’s just the impression I get from what I have read, I hope people don’t take that in the wrong way

      5. Hamilton has done the very same thing countless times

        I’ve seens this statement a lot and it is just plain wrong. Anybody saying it is really showing their lack of knowledge of F1. What Hamilton has done in the past is take the racing line and run the other driver out of room, there is nothing wrong with this regardless of who is doing it (e.g Rosberg doing in to Hamilton in Canada 2014 and Brazil I believe the same year, Vettel doing it to Hamilton in Spain last year, all perfectly valid moves)

        What Verstappen did (and what Rosberg did a few times in 2016) is leave the racing line massively in order to push another car off track, this is less ok (and Rosberg was rightly punished, it’s arguable whether Verstappen should have been, maybe he would have if he hadn’t retired because of it).

        TL;DR: it’s ok to run a driver out of room in a corner if you are the lead driver and you stick to the racing line. Verstappen didn’t do the latter and he wasn’t even the former until Hamilton started backing out of it (on corner entry Hamilton was still in the lead).

      6. What Hamilton does when he has the inside line and is he keeps his opponent alongside and gradually runs them out of road. Watch the 2015 US GP and what he did to Rosberg at the start. The rules say that is okay because you maintain the racing line while gradually shutting the door. VERS chopped across and it was not a gradual move. Either way though- this is racing. Hamilton and any other driver for that matter are entitled to hold station and stick their elbows out as risky as it is.

    3. I agree with the stewards’ decision of regarding it as a racing incident, but still, I’d shift the blame a bit more towards Max as he didn’t really give any space to Lewis. That corner is wide enough for side-by-side driving, so there wasn’t any need to close the door entirely. ”All the time you have to leave a space!”

    4. This was a reaction on the first comment.

    5. Hopefully some bad blood brewing and they have a few incidents this year that help Ferrari.

    6. My problem with the stewards has to do with the 1st lap Hartley penalty. Not that Hartley didn’t deserve it but more that, no one has ever received a penalty for a simple touch in the 1st lap, let alone a 10 sec penalty, no one, if he was german, french or British he wouldn’t have received a penalty.

      1. 1st laps although looked down by stewards, major issues always penalized! Hartley ruined someone’s race quite badly!

    7. how is it Hamilton’s fault clearly max’s Lewis saw Alonso ahead then moved back to to racing line Verstappen takes the inside then realises Alonso in front then chops in front of Hamilton.

      0:46 min https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/983052564026437633

    8. billbranch (@)
      8th April 2018, 20:28

      It’s time for Red Bull to get realistic: Verstappen may be a talented driver, but he lacks any sense of good judgement. He wrecked in practice due to no one’s fault but his own. He came out second best in a racing incident with Mr. Hamilton, claiming, as is his wont, that his misfortunes were due to others. I remember in races in the rain is years past the announcers getting ready for his coronation, but, in truth, he was careless, reckless, wantonly risking the lives of others, simply because he is still a pimple-faced youth with no sense of his own mortality. Demote this mental defective. There’s plenty of talent out there who realize it’s better to finish a race and get points for the team than to wreck attempting to prove your manhood, which Maxie Boy apparently feels he needs to do.

      1. @BillBranch.

        Max was to blame today, giving no room to Hamilton.
        But Brasil was stunning, so don’t act so stupid
        When i see you profil and your reactions, in the last 5 it’s 4 against Max.

      2. Are you serious .. how on earth did he risk other lives with this racing incident .. drama queen! I get it you don’t like Verstappen but you can dial it back a bit!

        1. Very over dramatic but I do agree with your point.

          People rave about his performance in Brazil but he’d just put fresh wets on and was also very lucky to even be in the race after he dropped it earlier in the race. Let’s not forget the RedBull is always solid in the rain too.

          I like verstappen for his speed but he’s not going to win Championships on speed alone. He doesn’t seem to know when he’s beat and that’s an issue as he’s caused a few avoidable crashes.

          I honestly think if Kyvat had had the same start to the season he’d have been dropped in China. I doubt they’ll do that to Max but he’s been dreadful this year.

          1. Re: Max having been ‘dreadful this year’, come on the year is two races old…

            Yes, VER takes risks, I like that personally. Image a ‘race’ with 20 Bottases, I doubt I’d tune in.
            If he had been slightly luckier, and not received a puncture from that tap, it would have been hailed as a gutsy overtake (except by die-hard Lewis-groupies). But he wasn’t, so it didn’t.

    9. Of course they are right. If anyone should get a penalty, should be Max.

    10. I dont know why this is a huge discussion. Racing incident. Max was careless though

    11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      9th April 2018, 2:33

      I think Horner should be talking to Max instead and trying to get Max to drive without unnecessary crashes.

      He’s so talented, so quick, he is on a fantastic team with 100% backing and he just lets everyone down. Not to mention that he nearly ruined Lewis’ race over nothing.

      Reminded me of Marc Marquez today ramming Rossi. At least Marc went to apologize instead of claiming that he gave Rossi room:-)

    12. The cynic in me thinks if Horner even not trying to put blame and penalty on the other party then he himself must be thinking Max has the large portion of blame here. Ergo having no penalty is the best outcome for his interest…

      1. Pretty much spot on.

        I suspect Horner (or Marko) will be having a chat with him. That’s two races in a row where he’s been too impatient and paid a penalty for it.

    13. Cry baby’s and dramaqueens.

    14. This was coming sooner or later. The guys won’t back down. That is what we came here to see not? So these race incidents will occur. And I rather see those with risk of one or two cars being eliminated, than some of the processional racers out there flying safe..

    15. It’s pretty simple. Charlie and his fellow bimbos have different rules for Hamilton when it goes against him. Max is a little turd but in this case Hamilton should have eased off but he will never do it. If it was the other way around he would be screaming for the kid’s head for not letting him in. F1 and leadership are so far from common sense they don’t know what it means. Once again we see how far F1 is from having any type of parity.

    16. I didn’t like this move when HAM pulled it a few times on Rosberg. I didn’t like it when Rosberg pulled it on Max and I still don’t like it when Max pulled it on Hamilton. It isn’t a pass if you drive the other car off the track. I wish the FIA would enforce the “always leave racing room” rule. Max didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t and in this case should be penalized in my opinion (worthless as it is). I personally want to see racing, not blocking. I can’t see how anyone thinks this is ok.

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