Horner: Max criticised more than Hamilton for collisions

Mark Scott
Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen Mercedes Red Bull

David Coulthard doubts Max Verstappen's 2020 title chances.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner feels Lewis Hamilton receives less criticism for collisions compared to his driver Max Verstappen.

Hamilton was hit with a five-second penalty by the FIA stewards in the opening race of the season after they deemed he was the cause of the collision involving Alex Albon – a collision which saw Albon’s hopes of a podium and perhaps even a race win fade away.

In his post-race column, Horner is sure that the criticism would have been more evident had the roles been reversed in that particular incident and said that is something Verstappen has experienced, too.

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“I saw Alex at dinner on Sunday night after the race and you could see the result hurt,” Horner said via the official Red Bull website.

“But when I caught up with him again on Monday, he already had his tail up and is looking forward to this weekend.

“Alex was cruelly robbed of a podium and possibly even a victory. It was a slam dunk. We had a tyre that was probably 1.2 seconds a lap quicker than Mercedes were capable of going at that stage in the race.

“Alex knew they would have problems warming their older tyres, so he needed to get the job done on Lewis quickly.

“He made his move, went around the outside and got himself ahead of Lewis mid-corner and then contact was made and Alex was in the gravel.

“He later retired from the race but the incident was particularly frustrating at our home event when we had a good chance of making it three wins in a row.

“Lewis was penalised and, I am sure if the shoe was on the other foot, then there would be plenty of media criticism, as Max has experienced in the past, but as a six-time world champion I guess these mis-judgements are sometimes overlooked…”

Red Bull left the first of their home races without any points but Horner says the team are raring to go again and put things right for round two.

He added: “Whenever you have a bad race, the day after is horrible but at 8am on Monday morning, a large part of the engineering department were already up doing a virtual online fitness class and getting stuck in.

“The whole team is fully motivated to get back up there on the podium.

“That’s not just the people here at the track, but also those who are working flat out at the factory helping the development of this year’s car.

“We have the basis of a good car this year.

“It is clear that Mercedes have made a good step over the winter but Austria is quite a unique circuit, so you cannot judge a season by one event.”

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