Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2021

Horner furious with Hamilton’s ‘desperate mistake and menial punishment’

2021 British Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he ‘does not know how Lewis Hamilton can take satisfaction’ from winning the British Grand Prix after colliding with Max Verstappen on the opening lap.

The two championship contenders collided at Copse corner as they battled for the lead on the opening lap of the race, resulting in a red flag stoppage. Verstappen was sent spinning into the barriers and out of the race, while Hamilton recovered from a ten second time penalty for the incident to take victory after the race was restarted.

Horner expressed his fury at what he described as an “amateur” and “desperate” move from the world champion and confirmed that Verstappen suffered a 51G impact in the accident and had been taken to Nuneaton Hospital for “precautionary scans”.

“He’s battered, he’s bruised. It’s the biggest accident of his career,” says Horner. “A 51G incident. I’m just grateful that it was not worse than that – that he’s able to get out of the car and walk away because it was an enormous, enormous accident.”

Horner believes that the 10-second time penalty and two penalty points handed to Hamilton for the accident was a “menial” punishment for the offense.

“He ran wide into Max,” says Horner. “I think if you look at the overhead [view], he’s run wide into the corner, he’s carried too much speed. That move was never on. Lewis is a world champion with seven titles. That was an amateur’s mistake and a desperate mistake. And we were just very, very lucky today that somebody wasn’t badly hurt.

“Putting a fellow driver in the hospital, writing off a car, receiving a menial penalty and still winning the grand prix doesn’t feel like much of a penalty.

“I think the disappointing thing for me, it just felt like a desperate move for Lewis. You’ve lost the start. You’ve had a go down the Wellington Straight. He started wheel-banging with Max down there.

“And then to stick a wheel up the inside of Copse corner, one of the fastest corners in this world championship, a corner that’s pretty much flat out and 180 miles an hour – there’s only ever going to be one consequence from that.

“I think that it’s just disappointing from a seven-time world champion that he makes such a desperate move and put a fellow driver in hospital.”

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98 comments on “Horner furious with Hamilton’s ‘desperate mistake and menial punishment’”

  1. I don’t view the move as desperate. Hamilton got a good run out of Luffield, so he went for a gap that existed.

    1. The stewards specifically mention he left said gap, which they mention existed to his right, and then ‘did not avoid’ a collision with Car 33.

      1. @cashnotclass He didn’t have much room on the right because of the Armco barrier, so he couldn’t really do anything to avoid contact.

        1. No just a cars width which he didnt use. Why are people defending Lewis? I just dont understand. So he made a mistake. Big deal. He is still a multiple WDC. Or are we now going to say he is flawless and everyone else is wrong?

    2. @jerejj
      The gap that existed was 1,5 meters to his right.

      1. 1.5 meters? I do not believe it was that much, especially as he entered the corner. However how much gap existed on the left of Verstappen? I would say it was at least 6 meters!

        If anyone had the capability of avoiding that crash it was Max. Hamilton could see that Max was not going to yield (given how Max had behaved on the previous corners) so he back out despite being ahead on the run up to the corner. Max kept his foot in and tired to take a racing line that simply did not exist as a Merc occupied part of it. The collision at that point was certain as long as Max refused to back off. Had Hamilton tried to break at that point he likely would have skewered Max. Verstappen could have backed off an took a wider line but refused to do so. He caused the collision. I believe it was a racing incident as both were fighting for a corner. However if anyone is to blame it was clearly Max as he was the one overtaking and he was the one with more room to play with!

        1. Rodric Ewulf
          19th July 2021, 4:13

          Lee1 When one has to make an appeal of other incidents with different track positionings, different speeds involved, etc. just to cover up a driver who actually caused a not so innocuous collision then you see how fanatic this person must be. It’s in the rules: whenever two drivers are fighting for the same racing line going into the corner the one who was behind need to back off, otherwise you’d get accidents pretty often.
          Max made one move to the inside to defend, but the problem was Lewis also went down the inside. Max even moved slightly to the outside of the track, leaving enough space before turning right. But Lewis felt he had completed the move when actually he hadn’t and just went deep into the corner like if no one was there, and then the collision. So it’s a fallacy to pretend it’s the same as unrelated clashes like the one they had in Barcelona: it happened in a low speed corner and with both drivers being aware of each other. The risks involved were far smaller.

          1. Speed of corner is not mentioned in the rules…

            Also I agree the driver behind should yield. As max was behind as they approached the corner he should have backed off but in the end it was Hamilton that backed off. If you think he gave Hamilton enough room then you were watching a very different race. Hamilton slightly understeered into the corner, Max took pretty much the normal racing line. There was no room given and there was no way he was ever going to yield. Hamilton (as Alonso has stated) could not make his car simply vanish. I think it was a racing incident but if anyone could have done more to avoid the crash it was Max. However by doing so he would have given up the position and that was not ever going to be something he was going to contemplate.

            Oh and yes, it is totally normal and correct to compare to other incidents, slow and fast.

          2. Rodric Ewulf
            19th July 2021, 17:37

            Lee1 I mentioned speed of corners not because it’s part of the rules but due the likelihood of causing a major accident. The question here is possible consequences, which are somewhat beyond the rules but need to be taking into account when analysing incidents. That’s why the comparision will fail many times (not that it cannot be done, just need to be careful as it’s easy to reach mistaken conclusions). Part of racing expertise is knowing where to push harder, not only how to push, and in this department both Hamilton and Verstappen failed yesterday, but still not with an equal share of blame. But the worse from Hamilton wasn’t his attitude during the incident, this type of thing isn’t rare to happen during a race, instead the really shameful part of it is related to his whole attitude regarding the accident. Can you seriously imagine Alonso, or even most of the drivers in the current grid, complaining of aggressive driving and then causing a serious collision in response of it? Acting careless and dangerously behind the wheel and taking pride of it? This is Mazepin/Maldonado stuff, to be honest, and there’s no way to hide it. If his complaint of aggressive driving failed then he should be able to gauge better the aggressiveness he will display as a competitive response on track to avoid collisions (Alonso did the same about track limits on his starts recently and we hadn’t seen him bumping into other drivers with the excuse of previous hard starting techniques from others). Again, that’s part of racing expertise. Having one of the strongest racecrafts out there, if not the number one most powerful, like Hamilton has in the current grid simply is not enough. Making assertive racing judgements is not the same as becoming a danger on track to the point of dramatic consequences. Not saying that Verstappen was never the culprit of it, though, but one needs to know when not having the preference on track or it can lead to an outcome like the one of yesterday or even worse. No excuse is enough to cover the failure of doing so.

            I think it was a racing incident but if anyone could have done more to avoid the crash it was Max.

            For that to be true one needs to be put too high in a pedestal of entitlement. The supposed example in question of good racing (Leclerc losing the lead of last race) just proves the point. He wasn’t fighting hard at all as his race wouldn’t realistically get better doing that, as he was a sitting duck to Ham in the final laps. Does he want everyone to be a sitting duck like that on fights for position? That would be the end of the championship for sure.

          3. Rodric Ewulf. At no point did Hamilton say or act like he was proud of the incident. Please highlight where this was the case?

            Also Verstappen was overtaking Hamilton not the other way around. Hamilton was already ahead just before entering the corner so it was on Verstappens shoulders to back off. However Hamilton realised that Verstappen was never going to do that so he backed off himself at which point Verstappen took the racing line through the corner! Verstappen had lots of room on his left and could have slowed and took a wider outside line but he chose to try to keep the position. How is that Hamiltons fault? There was easily 1 or 2 car widths on the outside of Max but he chose not to use that space. If you look at a couple of corners before that incident Hamilton was clearly ahead on the outside to the entry of the corner and he slowed and took an extremely wide line as max shot through on the inside (almost off the track). So why on earth did Max not do the same at copse?

            Now I do not think Max should be given a penalty and I also do not think Lewis deserved a penalty. It was clearly a racing incident. I think both the drivers could potentially have avoided the collision but as the overtaking driver I think Max holds slightly more of the blame.

    3. @jerejj
      Senna also justified his killer move against Prost at Suzuka 1990 by saying he went for a gap that existed :)

      1. @tifoso1989 That one was intentional. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gone for the gap.

        1. Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer agreed with the British driver, insisting he felt the crash was a clear racing incident.
          “I’ve watched it a few times now and to me, if that isn’t a racing incident, nothing is,” he told Sky Sports.
          “We’ve often talked about allowing the drivers to race over the first couple of laps for the benefit of the fans, and I think that’s what happened there.
          “To me it was 50-50 there.
          “Max didn’t have to turn in when he did and Lewis could have been further right, but to me 100 per cent a racing incident.”

          1. @bulgarian
            Otmar Szafnauer couldn’t wait to speak on behalf of Toto Wolff. He can’t be unbiased in a dispute between RBR and Mercedes.

          2. Max had to turn in otherwise he went oftrack like Leclerc did.

          3. And if he went off track he would have avoided a collision. Also that was not the only option, he could have backed off as Hamilton did. In the previous corner Hamilton was clearly ahead on the outside and Max left his foot in while Hamilton gave easily enough room to avoid a crash, This meant Hamilton gave up his position but kept them both on track. Why did Max not do the same?

          4. He is part of the Mercedes team, so that is not entirely unexprected

      2. Ask Prost about what happened at Suzuka 1989 and you´ll understand why Senna acted like he did at Suzuka 1990…

        Reply moderated
    4. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      19th July 2021, 8:11

      +1
      I’m not saying Max should have driven a wider line to avoid Lewis, but he certainly could have. It would have been prudent.

      Look at turn 6 on the first lap. Similar situation with Lewis on the outside, but Lewis drove a much wider line knowing Max might understeer into him. In fact Max drove all of the way to the edge of the track on the exit so if Lewis had not done this there would have been contact. This is what Lewis means when he says Max is over aggressive (don’t get me started on Imola).

      Also did Max do off the track in turn 1 defending his position? Is that allowed? Either way that was just as desperate as Lewis’ move in turn 9.

      Max you are a big boy now. Play rough and you might get hurt.

      1. Also did Max do off the track in turn 1 defending his position? Is that allowed?

        My thoughts exactly. Verstappen kept the lead by leaving the track.

        All in all, they are both responsible for the contact, so racing incident.

  2. “Put a fellow driver in hospital”. Technically accurate, but a bit melodramatic!

    Honesty the best thing about this result is watching Horner throw his toys out of the pram.

    1. and boy did he throw them

    2. IAN M GONDWE
      18th July 2021, 20:00

      The man was okay enough to walk away from the incident, wave to the crowd, watch the race on tv and pick up his phone to tweet his feelings. They need to get over it and move on. This is racing.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      18th July 2021, 20:02

      He’s a terrible sport

      1. @freelittlebirds

        Yes, he is.
        Never have I seen a driver celebrate such a hollow win after such a despicable action in such an outrageous fash…..oh wait, talking about Christian I see.

        But hey, let’s watch the 2016 WDC podium and talk about terrible sports, shall we?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          18th July 2021, 22:20

          @Niki101 I’m pretty sure that Horner is going to look back at this interview and regret this. It was a great drive for Lewis and it was an incredible moment for Britain, the home crowd at their home GP. It was a shame it wasn’t Red Bull and Verstappen celebrating but at least they’d already won the sprint qualifying race. He just sounded petty and selfish.

          1. Indeed, we have seen far more ridiculous moves from Max. Remember just a few races ago when Max forced Hamilton of the track by going too deep into the corner? Oh and got zero penalty for that one… as it was deemed a racing incident.

            In fact Max did a similar move two corners before the current incident and Hamilton left him room to come through. Max refuses to give room. Fair enough that is racing, but by doing so he should expect things like this to happen sometimes.

      2. And it’s Red Bull that demanded a fully aero dependent F1 rule set to offset Mercedes power.

        These cars can’t race, can’t overtake a car that’s lapping within 1 sec per lap, tires drop off after 3 laps.

        No choice but to go for it at the start – the rest is a snooze fest saving tires and sitting in dirty air. Hamilton knew that and tried.

        (P.s. I actually expected Verstappen to bail out and go full throttle across the asphalt run off)

    4. Horner is an atrocious person. Won’t trust his lies.

    5. Horner is trying to deflect from his failings in this case. They had a 33 point lead going into the race and should have been looking to manage the points gap not fight for first place on the second lap. They had the faster car which was clearly proved out in the Sprint, so someone should have been in Max’s ear telling him to let Lewis go and we’ll get him during the pit stops. RB failed to play the long game and lost a significant points gap and that’s on Horner.

  3. Maybe they should tell Perez to have a few subtle, low-speed crashes with Hamilton over the next few races. Hungaroring first corner, Monza chicane, that sort of thing. Fight fire with worse fire.

    1. (This is a joke)

      1. Prajwal Gupta
        18th July 2021, 20:03

        If F1 can only go as far as giving such menial penalties, these sort of things will cross people’s minds. This has been a very bad day for F1. The drama was fun but justice wasn’t served and such things shouldn’t happen.

        1. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

        2. Penalties for sending another driver out of the race never match the effect of a DNF, do they?
          How you think ordering Perez to crash into Hamilton is some form of rough justice, no idea. Bizarre mindset.

        3. Indeed, should really do that.

          1. @esploratore1 Yes so long as Max wins, right?! Just get the Mexican to do the dirty work? Singapore 2008?

        4. Why was the penalty menial? I don’t even think it was a penalty in the first place! You can’t give penalties on the severity of the eventual impact you have to give penalties based on the rules. The rules were clearly in Hamiltons favour yet they still somehow gave him a penalty.

          How much room did Max give Hamilton on that corner? How much more could he have given? Lets not forget that Max was the one attempting the overtake around the outside as Hamilton was technically ahead on the straight.

        5. Well thats maybe why the FIA is so inconsistent. To not get jurisprudence..

  4. Horner the hypocrite.

  5. Every little thing Merc does, Horner and RBR go crying to the FIA to make changes. Never blames his own driver (Max) for driving recklessly and being over aggressive on most if not all his maneuvers. Max is lucky his daddy Horner and BFF Helmut are there otherwise, he would’ve been packing his bags a while ago.

    Reply moderated
  6. I disagree with the hospital remarks but I agree with the penalty being too lenient. He was at fault (the stewards told so) and he was sitting P2 with the championship leader out of the race. 30s would belre fair.

    1. Yep. Drive thru minimum

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        19th July 2021, 0:01

        Yep. Disqualification minimum

    2. So the severity of the incident outcome is the important part? Really?

      Surely like any sport the severity of the rule break is the important part and the severity of the outcome is irrelevant?

      The rules state that Hamilton had the right to take the line as long as he left a cars width on the outside. He clearly did that as Max had at least another cars width to his left! So what did he do wrong? Given that he was ahead going into the corner and he was the one backing off to try to avoid a collision? Did you see Max back off? Did you see max go to the far left of the track to give Hamilton enough room?

    3. In a sport where 3/10ths of a second is considered significant, you’re saying 10 seconds was insufficient? I don’t see that at all. The stewards can’t impose a penalty based on how slow the opponents are and whether the recipient of the penalty will be able to recover from it.

  7. This left a bad taste, especially buffoonery celebration.

    1. IAN M GONDWE
      18th July 2021, 20:09

      HAMMERTIME…We are so blessed to watch the GOAT…What a race

  8. Racing hard but fair is a rare skill.
    Lewis can’t race fair just like Max can’t.

    Title rival Vettel got harsher penalties and insinuated with interesting tactics upon getting involved with Hamilton, so this inconsistency does seem unjust.

    1. Yet pretty much everyone that has raced Hamilton says he is the fairest racer they have raced…

      Alonso has also said he thinks it was a racing incident…

  9. Horner should tone it down. It was more or less a racing incident, Hamilton judged more culpable, but this is an intense sport and accidents happen.

  10. Lewis is a world champion with seven titles.

    All of them gifted. Like today’s race

    1. With many more wins and titles to come, too.

      1. Don’t think so, he’s done, he’s 36, and this season made too many mistakes. Next season he will have 4 drivers better than him: vers, russell, norris, leclerc.

  11. That fellow driver is an over aggressive dirty driver who thinks he will always get away with it. Lewis did his best to avoid contact through out that opening lap but Max just doesn’t know when to back off and he is very accident-brave.
    Horner should be Red Flagged and Marko should be Black flagged forever from the Paddock.

    1. @amg44
      Lewis retired as many drivers today as Max did in his entire career.

      Do I need to say more?

      1. Max put himself in the hospital. He’s too aggressive. Had he backed slightly he would have kept racing and still have had a chance to win the race.

    2. [Verstappen] is an over aggressive dirty driver who thinks he will always get away with it

      +1. Also, as I said in a different thread, it was his weaving on the straight leading up to that corner that put Hamilton in that situation in the first place. He really wanted to go around the outside but Max was jinking all over the place.

      I think people are just a bit sick of Hamilton winning all the time, if he were only a 2-time champion or whatever then I think there’d be less people calling for harsher penalties than 10s.

      1. What rubbish. Hamilton could’ve easily gone to the outside but took the decision to go down the inside.
        Really don’t know what race you were watching but it certainly wasn’t the 2021 British Grand Prix.

        1. You have clearly never raced competitively on a fast track like Silverstone in your life.

          I honestly despair of the comments like this.

          Particularly love the you must hit the apex at all times none rule

        2. Max went to the far left of the track! To go around the outside at that point he would have had to take to the grass!

          Then he went inside and Max turned to the left.

          That was fine. Hamilton still overtook him. Then Max decided to try to take the racing line into the corner with a car inside him. Hamilton clearly saw it coming and backed off but Verstappen stuck to his line and hit him.

          If you want to see a fair response look at Hamilton on the previous corner where he was clearly ahead on the outside but left room for Max to break late and retake the position. Max even went off circuit on the first corner to keep his position.

    3. Please support with a Max Lewis penalty points comparison. You are living in the past

  12. @jorge-lardone

    Yes, whatever you say, you’re the man.

    (Lewis retired as many drivers today as Max did in his entire career…….)

    “Today they paid him with the same money and it is what he deserves.”
    Sure, he went to hospital.
    #Blessed
    #Godislove

    Good to see Lewis fans are just like Lewis.

  13. Horner, take a look at the 2018 Singapore race and see what Max did there.

    1. Wasn’t it Singapore 2017?

  14. From the same mouth that said “I don’t think things got out of hand” and “ he was lucky to get away with just a push” when his driver physically assaulted Ocon after Brazil.

  15. Horner furious with Ham for behaving like Max.

    1. Please support with penalty points comparison. You are living in the past

  16. … not only did Lewis Hamilton do a take-down on Max Verstappen? Hamilton took Verstappen down, to Chinatown –

    Reply moderated
  17. … on account of racism, and George Floyd, Hamilton cannot be penalized. On account of racism, Hamilton gets off scoff free. In F1, FiA can’t lay a finger on Lewis Hamilton. He is untouchable –

    Reply moderated
  18. Christian Horner after the Spanish Grand Prix, where Max went up the inside of Lewis at the first corner…

    “Turn 1 was mega. I mean Max, that was full Max Verstappen – he was just going for it – and he positioned the car fantastically well. He tucked in, he got a little bit of a tow and a bit of momentum. And yeah he just braked later and ran the car wide. Thankfully Lewis had got out of it because otherwise he would have ended up in the fence”

    1. Ha, brilliant.
      I did feel for Max as he was clearly hurting from the impact in the immediate aftermath. But it did seem like Lewis driving just as Max would have driven – though I suspect Lewis would have been wiser to Max attempting the inside pass. Or would have closed off that threat better.

      1. Yeah, 100% was a horrific crash and glad he’s alright.

        I think it’s fair to say they were both driving on the absolute edge in those first few corners, Max also running wide and off track a couple of times. ‘I suspect Lewis would have been wiser’ I think if he thought he had the race pace like he had done in a couple of the earlier races this season then maybe but I think they would have both done the exact same thing in each others position today. Possibly the sprint race yesterday clarified in their minds that whoever was leading after the first lap was guaranteed to win the race.

        No need for Horner to act like he’s part of the WWF (imo) though.

        1. Good point about the sprint race cementing the idea that they needed to be in the lead to win.
          By wiser, I meant that I think Hamilton would have left a bit more room or looked out for Max attacking on the inside.

    2. Otmar put it best. If that isn’t a racing incident, then nothing is.

      Both guys could have given more space, but Hamilton is so far alongside on the inside line, that he was entitled to take it. He doesn’t have to hug the apex perfectly, so long as he makes the corner.

      As for Button criticizing Hamilton for not hitting the apex, you cannot hit the apex perfectly when you’re passing that tightly on the inside line. If the standard is that you must always hit the apex whenever you pass, then 75% of all clean moves will be penalized, and we no longer have racing.

      The corner previous showed us how powerful the inside line is. Lewis was comfortably ahead on the outside but still backed off and gave Max ridiculous space. This is what Max should have done once Lewis got that far alongside him, but Max didn’t know how close Lewis was and turned in.

      Reply moderated
  19. Isn’t a drive through penalty not as severe as a 10s penalty at this track? 1st lap collisions usually have no penalty or 5s. I think 10s is as much as they could give here

    1. @jimfromus but this crash is very dangerous max could have been injured, unlike other 1st lap crashes which are nothing at all.

  20. Yes, you missed the bit where Verstappen cut across Hamilton.

    Reply moderated
  21. If Wolff is the boss who most likes to underplay his team’s speed and chance of success, Horner’s the boss who most likes to bring out the tiny violin.

  22. ‘Hamilton arrived at Copse with slightly greater straight line speed, chose an inside line, did not make the apex’

    They touched before the apex?

    ‘who claims that “lives matter” Are you suggesting he should retire from the dangerous sport that is motor racing because he believes in equality? I’m not sure what your point is with this line.

    1. You have clearly never raced competitively on a fast track like Silverstone in your life.

      I honestly despair of the comments like this.

      Particularly love the you must hit the apex at all times none rule

      1. This was for a previous comment apologies

  23. I wonder whether the WMSC will want to have a look at this incident and consider additional penalties.

  24. I guess Horner didn’t see the part where Max went OFF the track to maintain first place in the very first corner. Hamilton already got him right there.

    Reply moderated
    1. So? I think we were talking about a different incident here.

  25. Borderline racing incident and a quite normal penalty by the stewards standards resulted.
    Horner is an embarrassment and an extremely bad loser. He should be thoroughly ashamed of his antics. And to state Lewis “put a wheel up the inside” of Max – they were almost neck and neck going into Copse – illustrates the absurdity of the man.

    1. Have to admit Horner is one of the few people on the grid I find irritatingly absurd. He’s forever tipping fuel on the fire and then complains when it explodes.

      1. I have to agree. Both Lewis and Horner are a stain on this sport

  26. Total racing incident. “Hamilton was far enough up the inside to have earned the right to some space” – Martin Brundle. I totally agree. Max finally got his comeuppance for the aggressive and dodgy moves he’s made on others. Besides, Max weaved a little which is a no no.

  27. Bob Van Staubenzee
    19th July 2021, 2:20

    Ah ha ha ha!!
    Verstappen has been pushing drivers off the track since day one, so everyone has learned to given him ‘extra’ space. Hamilton sticks out his elbows and claims track space that is properly his and everyone freaks out.

    Reply moderated
  28. Oh, Mr. Horner must be reminded of Max’s actions in 2021 Spanish GP:
    “Turn 1 was mega. I mean Max, that was full Max Verstappen – he was just going for it – and he positioned the car fantastically well,” said Horner after the Spanish GP. “He tucked in, he got a little bit of a tow and a bit of momentum. And yeah he just braked later and ran the car wide. Thankfully Lewis had got out of it because otherwise he would have ended up in the fence,” he added.

  29. It has to be said though if this was intentional lewis might be the best at professional fouls f1 has ever seen. even prost senna or schumi couldnt have fouled so subtly.

    1. He does have a talent for not hitting the opponent with the front wing, but with the front wheel. Clever stuff. And executed well already 3 times. Accidently, all three times it was on a RedBull car. How random. Race ban should be appropriate for Michael by now

  30. Christian should sleep on it before he swings comments like that. Honestly a bit rich coming from him. Lost a lot of respect for him today

  31. Horner should also learn what ‘menial’ means: servile, degrading, low-skill. Very weird term to use in this context. Presumably he meant ‘too light’ or ‘insufficient.’

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