Horner given official warning over “rogue marshal” comments

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

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Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has been given a formal warning after comments he made about a marshal following Max Verstappen’s grid penalty at the Qatar Grand Prix.

The stewards also accepted Horner’s offer to apologise to the marshal, explain to the media he did not intend any offence, and participate in next year’s FIA International Stewards Programme.

Horner blamed a “rogue marshal” for the penalty Verstappen received after qualifying. He was penalised for failing to slow for double waved yellow flags at the start/finish line after Pierre Gasly came to a stop at the end of Q3. While the electronic warning signals were cancelled, yellow flags were still being waved at one marshal post.

His comments were referred to the stewards by FIA F1 race director Michael Masi. The stewards noted “Mr Horner made a statement accusing the flag marshal who waved the double yellow flag at Point 16.6 as being a ‘Rogue Marshal’.”

Horner was found to have broken two articles of the International Sporting Code which prohibit comments which “cause moral injury or loss to the FIA” and “any misconduct towards… officials”.

According to the stewards Horner “explained that his reaction was one that was made under the pressure of competition following the penalty imposed on the driver of car 33 [Verstappen].”

“The stewards explained that the marshal concerned was doing his job in precisely the manner prescribed in the International Sporting Code.”

Following his meeting with the stewards Horner retracted his criticism of the marshal. “I’ve spoken to the FIA, I have apologised if any offence in any way was created because it wasn’t the intention.”

“My frustration wasn’t with an individual marshal, it was with a situation where one car had driven through, there was no yellow, one car gets a single yellow, one car gets a double yellow, it’s the inconsistency across that. As a sport, we can learn from that.”

“But all the marshals out there, we need you, we think you do a wonderful job and and apologies if any offence was interpreted.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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51 comments on “Horner given official warning over “rogue marshal” comments”

  1. Expectable.

  2. Mercedes to do some simulations with Pierce Morgan to bring new evidence to the FIA

    1. I don’t think there is anyone who can simulate the way Horner’s mouth runs.
      So sorry, for this mathematical puzzle, there is no knowns solution.

      1. In hindsight, P. Morgan might be the closest but not the best fitting curve

      2. Why, they just use toto. Maybe a bit over the top but very convincing.

  3. Excellent. All your drama is good until you start accusing people who are doing an honest job.

  4. My frustration wasn’t with an individual marshal

    But that is exactly what he said. There is a rogue marshal who started waving his flag.

    “I think it’s just a rogue marshal that stuck a flag out and he hasn’t been instructed to by the FIA.

    1. Yeah, it was pretty much exactly what he did say.

  5. Horner “explained that his reaction was one that was made under the pressure of competition

    I can’t choose if Horner is dishonest or coward — or maybe both.

    Horner and Marko makes Red Bull such a unpleasant team to follow.

    I hope Max can get out from there before being affected for such toxic behavior.

    1. Before being affected?
      Too late, mate

      1. It’s a breeze compared with the toxic environment in this and other topics.

        1. Yet you reply to nearly all topic to defend Max or Redbull

      2. You stole my words, flapping mouths trickling down from Marko to Max through Horner. Max never needed the encouragement but yet it is provided in large doses in this team. Very toxic indeed.

  6. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Any organization that has a rule against hurting their feelings must be a pretty terrible organization.

    1. Not sure where you are from, but in the US, all the major sports leagues would fine a coach for criticizing the league or officials after a game. During a game they let them yell and speak their mind, but afterwards if during a press conference they talked about a rogue official who cost them the game, their would be fines assessed.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        21st November 2021, 19:04

        You can add football in the UK as well as rugby, tennis, cricket… In fact, it’s harder to think of a sport where you wouldn’t be fined for referring to a rogue official in an interview after a game!

      2. Before you apologise for running off at the mouth, please volunteer as a marshal & stand out beside the track most, if not, all day in the elements [heat/rain etc.] probably at a corner or somewhere one only sees a small part of the circuit. At Qatar no support races, so only zoom, zoom of 1 to 20 cars for less than 2 hours a day for 3 consecutive days, perhaps [drenched Spa F1 comes to mind]
        Trust me, only a v-e-r-y small miniscule of marshals do not do it for the love and safety of the sport.
        Fact – no marshals = no racing.

    2. David, I don’t think that you have a grasp on this situation.

    3. There is code of conduct in every sport snd pretty much every organisation in the world in general. This website needs a code of conduct to prevent people writing stupid replies

  7. […] apologies if any offence was interpreted.

    How not to properly apologise 101.

  8. A warning?
    Oh perfect, say hi.
    (Seriously though, it’s honestly ridiculous. These RB guys could do and say whatever they want).

    1. Oh yeah ? What about Toto « fwwck them all »? 😁

      1. And that means that what Fantomius said is not true?

  9. I think it’s more about bring the sport into disrepute – and only a disreputable person would take his anger out on someone who is working hard and giving their time to the sport for free. His anger should have been directed at his driver – who gets paid millions and still did not think to check if there were flags near the striken car he was flying past. Other drivers had the same information and slowed down, because of safety concerns. Still I guess we can’t expect much from the guy who thinks parking his car on someone’s head is no big deal.

  10. His penalty should be not being allowed to speak to the media for, oh I don’t know, 4 weeks.

    1. I’d happily take it if it was limited to the live broadcast.

      1. Sky F1 UK would be utterly bereft if that happened, lol

  11. So dishonest is not allowed.
    But Fwwck them all is 😁

    1. It appears Toto/Mercedes can say what they like and dont even get a warning. Toto was saying that either about the Stewards or the Parc ferme inspectors…. he gets nothing…?

    2. That was over the radio and not directed to a specific individual. Ban Verstappen for all his swear word name calling of other drivers over the radio?

  12. My frustration wasn’t with an individual marshal

    That’s literally what ‘rogue marshal’ spelled out. One individual, rogue marshal.
    At least own it Horner and apologise like a grownup.

    1. I didn’t mean what I said, now that I’ve been called out on it…

  13. Somewhat unexpected as I’ve read far worse however this claim was too straight forward, I don’t think he was implying bias but he sounded just like that and that is a big no-no.

  14. No wonder he’s atrocious.

  15. Try the new Marko Fruit Horner.

    [Please note: bitter aftertaste comes as standard]

  16. So, when is Helmut Marko going to be called out over his comments as mentioned in Ted’s Notebook when he met with Horner, Button and Hill?

    1. @mikejtw in the case of Marko, although his influence extends much further than his job title would suggest, he is officially classed as an advisor to Red Bull Racing, with his formal job title being that of the head of Red Bull’s Junior Team.

      It is therefore not entirely clear if the FIA could definitely take action against Marko, given the ambiguity over his exact job role at the team – however, it might be the case that he might be a bit more guarded with his comments in future now that Horner has been warned.

      1. @anon his credentials cloud be suspended for a race, so he’d have to watch from home?

        1. *could
          An edit function would be nice.

          1. @Racefans – exactly what he said, p-l-e-a-s-e.

      2. Dr Death and guarded in the same sentence?? Answer is a no-brainer. No-o-o!!

  17. It was interesting that they were able to make this decision so quickly, without referring it overnight to the FIA’s lawyers for justification the way they have for their more questionable recent decisions. This decision was obviously indisputable.

  18. Been saying it years about this disreputable, repugnant outfit. Not a shred of honour, respectability or integrity amongst any of them. Now it’s been formally sanctioned the boss is a wrong ‘un too, I shall be displaying my Jeremy Clarkson smug face for the remainder of the evening.

    1. Also, about time Masi got his elbows out so to speak.

  19. Strange from Horner to make fun of Mercedes cracking under pressure (see the press conference with Wolff) and then blaming the intensity of the moment to excuse (not really…) his actions.
    Looks like RB as whole is on the back foot and didn’t expect such a resurgence from Hamilton. To be honest, me neither.

    1. In fairness, I don’t think he said the pressure excused his actions, only that it explained them.

      Nothing excuses his actions.

  20. Whats funny is same FIA never warned or penalised the Golden kid for making racist comments about stewards or fellow drivers.

    1. wHaTs fUnNy iS SaMe fIa nEvEr wArNeD Or pEnAlIsEd tHe gOlDeN KiD FoR MaKiNg rAcIsT CoMmEnTs aBoUt sTeWaRdS Or fElLoW DrIvErS.

      I don’t like Max, but this was what I saw above…Look up.

  21. Horner continues to show us who he is…just a horrible human being.


  22. geoffgroom44 (@)
    22nd November 2021, 11:12

    the marshalls and stewards perform an incredible job keeping drivers and observers …safe.They deserve – and have earned – the respect of almost everyone in F1,fans included.We can disagree with decisions without losing respect for the position.
    Karen Horner and Groucho Marko would do well to remember this when they try to defend the manchild Max like helicopter parents.Max is a great guy and a superb driver,he does not deserve his team’s bitchiness detracting from his achievements.

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