Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2021

Hamilton ‘braked 23 metres too late’ but crash wasn’t deliberate, says Horner

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Red Bull do not believe Lewis Hamilton intentionally collided with Max Verstappen at Silverstone, team principal Christian Horner has confirmed.

The team yesterday failed in its effort to have the FIA review its in-race decision against Hamilton, who won the British Grand Prix after serving a 10-second penalty for tangling with his rival at Copse corner.

In its submissions to the stewards Red Bull claimed Hamilton needed to brake 23 metres earlier for the corner than he did to get around it. But while Horner felt Hamilton’s penalty was insufficient, he made it clear the team did not believe he deliberately caused the crash.

“We didn’t at any point say in our submission that it was deliberate action,” said Horner.

“Obviously tensions are running high between those two drivers. They’re fighting for the biggest goal in the sport, they’d been racing closely the previous day in the sprint race. You’d seen earlier in the lap that there was close-quarter, no-quarter racing going on between them.

“I think that would’ve been the only opportunity for Lewis to have made the pass on Max and he would have known that, as well, because I think we quite simply had had a quicker car on on the day. Had we survived that corner, we would have enjoyed a much different race on Sunday afternoon. That unfortunately didn’t happen.

“It is what it is. We now have the stewards’ ruling and we focus on going racing and doing the best to extract the best result that we can on track.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said Red Bull’s criticism of Hamilton had triggered a furious reaction on social media. Horner, who accused Hamilton of “dirty driving” following the collision, insisted the team had not crossed the line between professional criticism and personal attack.

“It’s absolutely not a personal attack on Lewis Hamilton,” said Horner. “Lewis Hamilton is a seven time world champion and everything that he’s achieved stands for itself.

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“If it was any other competitor on the grid, we would have taken the same issue, in the manner that we did. I think that I’m entitled to an opinion on that incident, as is everybody else.

“Obviously at the time emotions are running high, we’ve got a driver that’s needing to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks after an accident which would have definitely knocked out your average human being.

“We’d lost a car in its entirety under a budget cap environment for something that the stewards didn’t deem to be Max’s fault. So there’s nothing personal about it.

“But even a seven-time world champion can sometimes make mistakes or misjudgements. That’s just a fact of life. So at no point has this been personal about Lewis and it would have been identical with any other driver and any other team on the grid.”

Horner said the team had hoped to persuade the stewards Hamilton’s manoeuvre was dangerous, and therefore deserved a tougher penalty. “Had it gone to a new hearing, had it been deemed that Lewis was driving dangerously, then a different suite of penalties would have been potentially applicable,” he said.

“It didn’t go that far. It didn’t go into the hearing. So it’s all now subjective. But obviously our frustration was at the at the size of the penalty compared to the outcome of the incident.”

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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82 comments on “Hamilton ‘braked 23 metres too late’ but crash wasn’t deliberate, says Horner”

  1. Ginger Spice back pedaling since it’s a public opinion laughable nightmare for RB.

    1. Whinger spice more like.

      I honestly don’t know how they’ve come to this random 23 meter number. RedBull recreated the situation with a completely different car, different fuel loads, different tyre warm up, different weather, different track conditions, two inferior drivers and multiple other different factors. Hamilton alone could probably take 10 meters out of that number as I have no doubt he’s much stronger on the brakes than both Albon and Perez. To arrive at a number from all of that is highly doubtful.

      1. Not only was the media blast, protest and accompanying letter tot the FiA a character assassination attempt at Hamilton, now Horner thinks he can tell Hamilton how to drive a car. It doesn’t get any more pathetic than that. They got the best car, a top driver and still can never accept the fact that Max bore some responsibility for the crash. Cause Max never bears any responsibility for a crash, ever. Hence it’s got to be Hamilton dirty driver as the only explanation.

        Hopefully it will take them a while to wipe the egg off their face.

      2. “I honestly don’t know how they’ve come to this random 23 meter number”

        It’s scientifically calculated by taking Perez’s number from Max’s number + Max’s current WDC Position.

        1. After the incident telemetric is available for the parties invokved.
          Lewis braked way to late, but of course by accident. Its hard to know where to brake in Silverstone for someone with only 20 years experience.

          1. He braked ‘way too late’ given the fact that Max turned in almost like he wasn’t there, if max had backed off and run wide them maybe Hamilton would turn out not to be so late after all :-D

            Horner says ” “We’d lost a car in its entirety under a budget cap environment for something that the stewards didn’t deem to be Max’s fault”…
            ..er correction, they didn’t deem it to be predominantly his fault…. that judgement went to Lewis, not quite the same thing as saying Max completely blameless.

            For someone so concerned about the budget cap Horner seems to have expended a ridiculous amount of Red Bull resources on a week and a half of whinge and fighting this.

            Nice to see Horner backpedaling on his smear campaign, hopefully by this weekend’s race it will all be forgotten about, think we’ve all heard enough.


          2. Davethechicken
            30th July 2021, 16:04

            @erikje It is a matter of indisputable fact that Lewis did make the corner. Watch the replay again. His car would have been accelerated further by the impact of the faster moving Verstappen not decelerated.
            Your point makes no sense.
            And in anticipation of your reply that Lewis wouldn’t make the apex, which of course is entirely different to not making the corner, where does it say that an overtaking car must hit the apex in the rules???

          3. I believe that is covered in the ruling given in Austria when Rosberg had the inside up the hill into turn 3 and failed to turn for the corner until Hamilton was on the run off area.

          4. Davethechicken
            30th July 2021, 16:44

            Ed, the Austria incident referred to Ros not leaving enough “racing room” not that he had to hit the apex in his defence.
            Also Rosberg was defending a position which is the opposite to this incident.

          5. @Davethechicken.
            Only after the crash when he got of the throttle. Even leclerc could pass him on the inside then.

          6. @Davethechicken

            you are talking to the walls mate, the wont hear listen or try to even comprehend… now austria example :) comparing to ham, where ham was turning, where as ros wasnt even intending the turn at all, if ham did the same as ros did, as a ham fan, i would despise him, but this is just a max move to show max the consequences of driving without respect…. ham said it so many times and even advised max in brasil! you want respect? you have to respect first… he learned hopefully that respect isnt given, but earned.

  2. OH? LH was all the wicked, criminal evil, bar stewards under the sun.
    Then the FIA dismissed his whine.
    Now changes his tune.

  3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    30th July 2021, 13:46

    I have read Horner said the team got a fair hearing. The review went nowhere so now we [RBR] are focussed on this race. The matter is closed.

    So why are we being subject to this drip feeding?

    1. Because these comments were made within the last 24 hours? It was Red Bull’s protest after all, we didn’t have to have the discussion in the first place had they left it as it was two weeks ago.

    2. Well Horner is giving an interview now and has another one planned at the end of qually. Maybe ask Keith not to report on it, or demand to know why Horner keeps talking about when you have stated the matter is closed.

    3. Because Horner and Marko started behaving like children instead of adults.

  4. How much can we milk the same incident.

    Move on please.

  5. If Lewis needed to brake 23mts earlier then how was Max going to make it flat out with full fuel load and cold tyres, Lewis’s plan was to cut back then overtake while Max took a trip through the run off.

    1. But max had the outside line, had higher speed and could have made the corner with ease.
      But then Lewis went mad, trying to safe his face after all those errors.

      1. ‘ could have made the corner with ease ‘…Nope, was never gonna happen, Max went into the corner faster and later than he did in quali with 100Kg of fuel and cold tyres, I know you think he is good but in the voice of Scotty from Star Trek ‘ ye canna change the Laws of Physics ‘

        1. Verstappen could change his direction easily enough for the more zealous Hamilton supporters to claim he cut him off, which isn’t what tends to happen when a driver carries too much speed into a corner. Anyway, as the stewards noted; Hamilton had ample room on the inside, did not avoid the collision, and was thus penalized for his move. It doesn’t have to be analyzed again and again.

          Red Bull wanting a harsher penalty was never going to happen, because the FIA is not a proper judicial body but rather the organizer of entertainment. After Hamilton and Mercedes numerous mishaps, this was just what their product needed to bunch the championship back up. Remember that the FIA were pretty keen to kick out the completely justified disqualification of Ferrari in Malaysia 1999 to save the championship finale in Japan; and they were similarly all too happy to ignore what would otherwise have been an easy disqualification of BMW and Williams for fuel irregularities in Brazil 2007 as it would have meant Hamilton won the title hours or even days after the final race.

          1. Which is it: Hamilton braked too late, or he could have give Verstappen more room? They can’t both be true.

        2. Sam (@undercut677)
          30th July 2021, 19:51


          Still not the same situation. Even if Max could not have made the corner, he was the car bieng overtaken and would not have ended his rival’s race if he had not made the corner (like Leclerc). Hamilton is the one doing the overtaking into a high speed corner, down the inside, where missing the corner guarantees that his rival does not finish the race. This is a completely predicatable result based on the Laws of Physics.

          1. I think your find Max’s race ended when he cut across Lewis like he wasn’t there, hence the racing incident wasn’t wholly he’s fault.
            The RB crowd that seem to be Fake News-ing what happened is as desperate as RB’s failed review request by making stuff up….
            Iam starting to wonder who they are trying to kid, others or themselves?

          2. Did you miss the portion of the video where Verstappen turns into Hamilton instead of giving himself more room that he clearly had? I mean he would have lost the position but wouldn’t have been out of the race. It wasn’t Hamilton running into Verstappen, it was the other way around. Now since Lewis made the move on the inside, the Stewards penalized him for being predominantly to blame. Since he could have made a tighter turn but didn’t. That means that Verstappen according to the Stewards bore some responsibility since Hamilton doesn’t bear all of the responsibility. It’s simple, but I guess not as simple for those that didn’t like the outcome.

      2. You are right. Max would have made the corner due to his god-given talents with ease. Why did he need to turn? He could have accelerated further to supersonic speeds into the distance by sheer will-power. Can you please stop your bs for a second??

    2. Alex Georgeson
      30th July 2021, 15:38

      Because Max was taking a wider line into the corner. If you take a tighter line into a corner then your entry speed will have to be lower.

      1. But Max was taking a tighter line than he had in Q3, but braked later and was traveling faster. By your own words, if you take a tighter line then your entry speed will have to be lower.

        And that’s not even taking into account his full tank and cold tyres.

  6. A sharp but objective view on Lewis actions (or lack of them).
    So Lewis braked way to late, made an error and crashed into his main Rival.
    BTW, all teamleiders contacted red bull about max status after the crash. Except one…

    1. objective


    2. It’s quite funny that Jos said for Toto not to contact Max, and then when he doesn’t, they complain…..
      What world is this

      1. Time line boy.
        If someone is not really interested in the health of an opponent he should not call his dad a day later to offer a job (again).

        1. I love Hamilton

        2. Bless you, you’re really hurting, huh?

          All I see he is you defending max, you must have sore fingers.

          1. There are a lot of bigots out there.
            See it as a form of racism. Fight it!

          2. Erik

            There are a lot of people on here with a different view to yourself, as there are in the paddock, in the press etc. There are few, of any, who are reacting purely or mainly based on race or nationality. Most are making fairly reasoned and logical points, and debating in good faith with other fans of the sport.

            Beware making unfounded accusations.

    3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      30th July 2021, 14:43

      Mercedes in the same appeal pointed out that Max with 100kg of fuel on board entered that corner 1km/hr quicker than he had done on his QUALIFYING lap!

      If you’re going to be objective you have to see neither driver was going to concede that corner and a crash was inevitabie.

      Personally I think Max showed poor judgement fighting that hard on the outside. His car was at greater risk of coming off worst, as we saw. Better to back out like Lewis did in the sprint race when he was on the outside. At the very least he’s have 18 more points!

      1. …and save Red Bull their precious 1.8 million for car repairs.

      2. That’s what I read too, and have seen simulation data to back it up: With cold tyres, a full tank and on a much more defensive line which couldn’t be taken as fast, Max braked later and was going faster than on his Q3 lap. Even had Hamilton disappeared, he still would not have made that corner.

        I expect that’s why the stewards didn’t find Lewis wholly to blame. They were both going into that corner too fast and both badly misjudged things.

      3. The difference being that Max was on the outside so if he wasn’t going to make the corner he wouldn’t collide with another car.

        1. ThE dIfFeReNcE bEiNg ThAt MaX wAs On ThE oUtSiDe So If He WaSn’T gOiNg To MaKe ThE cOrNeR hE wOuLdN’t CoLlIdE wItH aNoThEr CaR.

          And I still recognize you.

        2. This would be my view of the incident as well. They were both fighting a bit too hard and VER threw his car into a corner with the risk of going wide onto the runoff at the exit. But HAM threw his car into the same corner with the risk of going wide into another car. Risking yourself vs risking someone else. Does this mean no one is allowed to attempt an overtake on the inside? Absolutely not, but launching your car into the path of another car, especially at high speed, is a high-risk move that must be made with better judgment.

        3. But if Verstappen turned in at a speed not able to actually make the corner, Hamilton would reasonably not have expected that and so wouldn’t have accounted for Verstappen to end up mostly ahead when he picked his own braking point. Bearing in mind the braking zone for this corner is so slight and visibility of your opponent so limited that it’s difficult to make adjustments after deciding when to brake.

          And if Verstappen went in too fast, he either did it by accident or on purpose with the intention of frightening Hamilton to back out, not caring if he ran wide on exit as he’d already be ahead.

      4. Sam (@undercut677)
        30th July 2021, 19:54

        Not a “both-sides” situation. There was no risk of Max taking out Hamilton had he missed the corner (see Leclerc). Max was also in the lead and Hamilton was overtaking him down the inside.

    4. All team leaders? Link if you would please.

  7. Hmmm. Horner doesn’t actually say that he doesn’t believe Hamilton’s actions were deliberate, only that they didn’t put that in their letter to the FIA. Probably they were wise not to do so, as such a claim would be very difficult to evidence.

  8. 23 meters @ 250Km/h –> about 0.033 seconds

    1. I think you’ve miscalculated slightly there, I make it 0.33s.

      1. Still not enough to react I would think.

        1. @esploratore1

          It’s not about reacting, but about timing…

      2. oups you’re right 0.33 s

    2. Ian Stephens
      30th July 2021, 23:44

      I remember from watching in the days when the brake lights meant a foot on the brake pedal, good drivers hit the brakes within +/- 1 metre of the same point every lap. That skill may come from practice but I suspect that it is a requirement to be a top driver. You could see it in other formulae too, such as the Porsche Cup.

  9. All that Albon’s drive proved is that a 2 year old Red Bull car, in which he gained 92 points in 2019, a driver deemed not good enough to be Max’s team mate, had to brake 23 meters before a 7 times world champion in this years car, who in 2019 earned 413 points.

    1. Argument is fine, but points don’t tell the whole story, 419 points on 2019 mercedes are like 200 on 2019 red bull, can’t remember the exact figures, but significantly less % wise.

      1. Probably 300, I seem to remember some 240 and 264 for the ferrari drivers.

  10. Horner is trying to distract attention by refocusing on his claim that Wolff triggered Masi’s message on lobbying during races.

    That claim seems according to Horner to have been repeated in the RedBull letter asking for a review but is unlikely to be what caused the stewards “concern” as the Race Director had already dealt with that.

    From what Wolff said today – while trying to say as little as possible – to Sky was the smear on Hamilton as “amateur” was unacceptable but then pulled back on further comment.

    The fall out from that letter may not be over if there really is more scurrilous stuff in it than that. Is Horner’s statement today that Hamilton did not cause the accident on purpose generated by legal advice?

    1. I agree – if that’s all that concerned redbull in their letter, release the whole statement sent to the Stewards to the press, word for word. I don’t believe Horner in this instance – and think he’s doing F1 and Redbull some damage if not careful.
      As others have stated also, Massi TOLD Toto to go upstairs and speak to the stewards, which is what he did – all this whining to Massi on Radio isn’t good – either ban it or remove from live feed, ’cause it just shows that teams are only ever interested in their own gain.

      1. either ban it or remove from live feed

        I presume teams couldn’t previously hear other teams complaining to the race director? If so then broadcasting these complaints live probably has generated something of a snowball effect, each team trying to counter the other teams more. I also think that Red Bull have to acknowledge that if they’re going to rant away about dirty driving and disqualifying Hamilton, then Mercedes aren’t just going to sit back, they were entitled to respond assertively and did so by communicating to Masi – who then told Wolff to see the stewards. I actually agree with Horner that the stewards should be independent from immediate outside influence, but after the Mika Salo affair (apparently informing Swedish journalists about Hamilton’s pre-race penalty from the steward room before anyone else knew) that independence is, for me, seriously in doubt. That incident for me wasn’t highlighted enough. It fundamentally compromised the supposed independence of the stewarding.

  11. Is Toto ever have any objective reasoning at all? Did he really think how much times someone be a champion had something to do to judge an incident?

  12. Put Toto and Horner in a ring now! 🥊

    1. Yes please!

    2. Germany vs Great Britain, live at Madison Square Garden!

      1. He is from Austria.
        But whatever :)

        1. Thanks for the correction, BTW you very noob. Noob, noob, noob.

    3. Talk about a mismatch. It’d be like Drago vs Pewee Herman.

  13. Nathan Patel
    30th July 2021, 14:44

    Seems to contradict his initial insinuations that this was a “professional foul”, I.e. deliberate. Although, as stated above, it seems that while the submission to the stewards didn’t insinuate the move to be deliberate, the belief from Horner is still that it was.

  14. Just heard RB are protesting the Styrian result from last year. Albons been pounding around the RB Ring all day and hasn’t yet been able to replicate Hams wet pole lap. Open and shut case as far as I can see.

    1. Stop smoking that stuff.
      You obviously are not capable to handle it :)

  15. “Had we survived that corner, we would have enjoyed a much different race on Sunday afternoon. That unfortunately didn’t happen.”

    This is the message to get though to Verstappen. Drive for the title, not the corner.

  16. Thanks the engineers of the cars and the crash barriers. The accident at Silverstone could of been a lot worse! Remember the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt was said to be between 48-68 G’s.This one was reported to be at 51 g’s. I believe Grosjean’s accident was well over 60 G’s! Were getting way too close to having a serious injury or death in the sport. Hope Formula 1 is listening. Sometimes the sanctioning bodies ignore the early warning signs. Hope people look into this more and bring it up for both public and private discussions.

  17. If Hamilton braked 23 m later Max must have braked at 24….
    Will they stop moaning eventually??? Cmonnnn

    1. Sam (@undercut677)
      30th July 2021, 19:56

      There was no risk of Max taking anyone out. Why do people keep repeating this as if it is a good point? The reality of the situation between the two cars was completly different.

      1. Because it show the awareness and aggressiveness that both drivers had coming to the corner. It doesn’t matter who is on the inside and who on the outside when two cars are neck to neck. If Max had a wall on his right, would he cut the corner as if the wall wasn’t there? They both dived into the corner, not on equal terms but with same attitude of not yielding and taking no prisoners. Horner just keeps reminding us that he believes Hamilton should have braked as usual and give his driver and easy ride.

  18. A very reasonable statement from horner, him, red bull and verstappen have been admirable this year: finally a title contending car, finally a decent number 2 (I know I criticized perez recently but it’s because I expected more from him, he’s still doing better than everyone at red bull #2 post ricciardo) outside the red bull academy, and verstappen is also driving more for the title, I feel.

    They really deserve the title, unlike mercedes, at this point reliability and development are gonna play the most important role, and usually mercedes is more reliable, but red bull is usually a bit better in development.

    I know people say verstappen could’ve let hamilton past at silverstone, on a damage limitation perspective it makes sense, but he was ahead at the time they crashed, I could buy that argument if he could see hamilton was alongside at copse, as in you can let your rival pass if you see he’s overtaking you, but if you think you’re clearly ahead it’s unreasonable to brake and let him past.

  19. F1oSaurus (@)
    30th July 2021, 17:02

    Too late for what? All Hamilton needs to do is make it through the corner and he did. Even with Verstappen destabilizing his car twice.

    What is it with all these nonsensical requirements being dragged into the mix. Not just by Horner, but also the stewards. Since when has it been a requirement that the overtaker must hit the apex or hit the same braking point. How is that relevant for the driver who “has the line”?

    1. He braked after the accident. That’s the reason why he made the corner. The moment leclerc passed him on the inside

      1. Don’t know about you, but when driving I find I hit the brakes without thinking when a car comes careering across from the left ;-)

  20. Whoever corrected German to Austrian is obviously correct. Hitler was also Austrian and they both had and have extremely bad tempers. If Toto hits that table any harder, he could really damage his jewels.

  21. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    30th July 2021, 20:32

    According to Horner Lewis braked 23 meters too late. Did he forget that Max was in front of Lewis and gaining ground and had therefore braked 23+ meters too late?

    How can Lewis be at fault without Max being more at fault?

  22. Climbing down before you’re pushed?

  23. “We didn’t at any point say in our submission that it was deliberate action,” said Horner.

    Not in the submission, but in interviews you insinuated it Christian. There are comments form RB / Verstappen’s fans here that state the same: it was a deliberate move!

    Anyway, let’s move on from this and enjoy the racing. Go Mclaren.

  24. Fred Fedurch
    30th July 2021, 23:27

    This place is a joke.

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