Red Bull’s Christian Horner was surprised to see the FIA putting a stop to teams celebrating the success of their drivers on the pit fence.
This is not a new rule in Formula 1, but indeed over the years it has become an iconic sight to watch as team personnel climb the pit fence to cheer their driver as they cross the line, often when they do so to take the chequered flag for the race win, or score a podium finish.
Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix though, race director Niels Wittich moved to remind teams of the rule outlawing this, with the teams facing punishment if they had have gone against it.
And while Red Bull principal Horner does understand the safety argument, he also pointed out that for the 94 times that Red Bull celebrated victory in this way, Verstappen having made it 95 in Australia, never has there been any injury threat for their personnel.
“I was surprised it was an issue, to be honest with you,” Horner told reporters. “But I think anything that relates to safety, obviously, one has to take very seriously.
“But it’s a fairly iconic moment when you see a Grand Prix car finishing a Grand Prix and its team celebrating on a fence, and so long as it’s done in a manner that is safe… I personally have never seen an issue with it.
“I’ve thought it’s been a part of Grand Prix racing and we’ve achieved that 94 times as Red Bull Racing, and not once have we ever had an injury or looked like there being an issue, but you know, if they’re the rules they’re the rules.”
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown was also surprised with the re-emphasising of the rule, unsure as to what exactly triggered that to happen, though like Horner said that the rule is there to be respected.
“Yeah, same thing as Christian said,” Brown stated. “I’m not exactly sure what sparked the necessity to change it. I’m not aware of an incident.
“That being said, safety is critically important to all of us and if they feel it’s potentially not safe and those are the rules, then we’ll stick to them.”
Verstappen’s second win of F1 2023 and Red Bull’s 95th in their history, saw Verstappen extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 15 points over team-mate Sergio Perez.