Christian Horner: Verstappen penalty “particularly galling”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner was left displeased with the stewarding at the United States Grand Prix, questioning the decision to penalise Max Verstappen‘s last-lap move on Kimi Raikkonen.

Verstappen squeezed past Raikkonen at Turn 17 to snatch third place at the very end, but the stewards quickly provided the Dutchman with a five-second penalty to relegate him to fourth.

Horner was left reeling over the perceived inconsistency in the stewards’ decisions at the Circuit of the Americas, and was dismayed to see Verstappen’s swashbuckling drive soured by the incident.

“[It was] a tremendously exciting race today,” said Horner, “particularly for Max – who made incredible progress from 16th on the grid to be fighting for a podium in the last couple of laps.

“He made some great passing manoeuvres and, on the last lap, managed to make a pass on Kimi which was then penalised with a five second penalty.

“This is particularly galling looking at the amount of cars that had been off track, not just in the race but all weekend without any sanction or punishment.

“Nonetheless a great performance and another competitive afternoon for us.”

Horner was also disappointed to see Daniel Ricciardo‘s race ended early following an engine problem, and was sure that the Australian was in line for a podium finish having been competitive in the early stages of the race.

“Obviously, we were very disappointed to lose Daniel early on in the race with an engine issue, after putting on a fighting few laps behind Valtteri [Bottas].

“He would have been on the podium again without that issue today, so we take comfort from the fact we had a competitive car.

“[We] are just sorry for Max and the fans that they didn’t get the podium they deserved today.”