Horner Makes Surprising Admission Amidst Hamilton-Verstappen F1 Crash Saga

Published 09/17/2021, 9:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton crash out of the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


The rivalry this season between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen took on a fresh complexion following the Italian Grand Prix. While their crash on Lap 26 sent both drivers out of the race, it sparked a range of reactions from F1 fans across the world.

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While many praised the halo for saving Hamilton’s life, they took sides in ascertaining blame on either driver. Ultimately, the FIA handed Verstappen a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix, which Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner admitted the team accepts.

Christian Horner accepts penalty given to Max Verstappen for Monza crash

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Earlier this year, Verstappen went flying into the barriers after coming into contact with Hamilton in the British Grand Prix. While Hamilton received a 10-second penalty for the incident, Horner was very vocal in admitting the Briton deserved a harsher penalty.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads at the start of the race ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

On this occasion, however, the 47-year-old accepted the penalty handed to his Dutch driver. While admitting both drivers played a part, he believed a grid penalty was the only option. He said, “I still share the same belief today – both played a part in it and it is difficult to apportion blame to one side more than the other.

“If the FIA wanted to make a statement, they could’ve imposed the same penalty on both drivers but the fault was deemed to be more on Max’s side and, because he didn’t finish the race, the only option was to give him a grid penalty, which we accept.”

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Can Verstappen overcome the odds in Sochi?

The 23-year-old enjoyed reasonable success in the second triple-header of the season. While his pole position in Belgium helped him take a victory, Verstappen dominated his home race in Zandvoort. Although it ended poorly in Monza, the Dutchman heads to Russia five points ahead of Hamilton.

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However, Mercedes are the only team to win in the Sochi Autodrom. In addition, Verstappen struggled to keep up with Valtteri Bottas in Monza in the first few laps of the race. This could depict the Silver Arrows have an advantage heading into one of their strongest tracks.

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However, one cannot count Verstappen and Red Bull out, especially in a season where they look much stronger than before.

WATCH STORY: Top 5 wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 Career

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Sanket Nair

784 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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