Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen should have been given more room by Lewis Hamilton following an incident when the pair made contact during the early stages of the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.
This past weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix saw the Mercedes finally win their first race of the year. In fact, the team managed to claim a one-two with George Russell winning his maiden F1 Grand Prix.
While Russell’s win was fairly straightforward, his teammate Hamilton had to battle back from the midfield after making contact with Verstappen during the early stages of the race.
Verstappen was eventually deemed by the stewards to be at fault for the incident with the Dutchman also receiving a five-second penalty as a result.
Horner believes penalty was unfair
Verstappen’s team boss Horner though believes the resulting contact was a racing incident and insisted that his driver should have been left more room as he tried to find a way past the Mercedes.
“I felt the penalty was harsh,” Horner told Sky Sports after the race.
“I thought he’d earned a bit more space than he was given. Lewis could have given him a bit more to work with, because he was ahead going into the left-hander.
“You know, it’s unfortunate, I think it’s the only incident that Max has had this year. Unfortunately, we were deemed or Max was deemed at fault with the five-second penalty, which then hurts our race even more.
“It was very frustrating. We were surprised by the penalty because it was basically given for a racing incident.”
Horner hails Russell’s performance
While Horner might have been disappointed with Verstappen’s penalty, the Red Bull leader was full of praise for F1’s newest winner Russell.
“This track always throws up some interesting results and good racing,” Horner continued.
“Congratulations to George he is one of the new generation of stars in Formula 1 and he has been truly on it all weekend.
“We’ve seen the Mercedes getting stronger and stronger through the season with a thick vein of developments and I think that you could see it coming with the amount of development that’s been going on.
“George has delivered a great race this weekend and all credit to him on achieving his first Grand Prix victory, which is always a very special feeling.”