Formula 1

Stewards Correct to deem Vettel/Verstappen Clash ‘a Racing Incident’ – Horner

2 Mins read
Max Verstappen - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - Suzuka International Racing Course
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Christian Horner felt Sebastian Vettel’s lap seven move on Max Verstappen at Spoon was ‘optimistic’, although he agreed with the stewards at the Suzuka International Racing Course that it was a racing incident.

Scuderia Ferrari’s Vettel attacked Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Verstappen for third but the two clashed, with the former falling to the rear of the field as a result of the contact, while the latter was able to continue in the same position despite being forced to run off-track.

Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, says Vettel’s optimism and Verstappen’s robust defence caused the incident to occur, and it was a correct decision by the stewards to take no action against either driver.

“It’s very hard to overtake into that corner,” Horner is quoted as saying by “It’s not a big braking zone, and obviously Sebastian was optimistic in his move and Max was robust in his defence.

“For me it was a racing incident, and I think the stewards came to the right decision.  It was very opportunistic by Seb at a corner that it’s very hard to overtake at.”

Verstappen was also involved in contact with the other Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen on the opening lap, with the Dutchman earning himself a five-second time penalty for the incident.  Initially the twenty-one-year-old ran across the grass at the Casio chicane at the end of the lap, only to re-join just at the point where the Finn was, with the two clashing.

Horner defended Verstappen after his collision but accepted the penalty that came their way, although ultimately it did not cost them any position in the final result.

“He’s a hard racer,” said Horner. “The incident at the chicane with Kimi, he’s run deep into the chicane, he’s gone off track, he’s re-joined.

“You can see he’s not looking in his mirrors, and not really aware of where Kimi is. They’ve made contact, it’s gone to the stewards.  They’ve come up with a penalty, which we accept, and then obviously he’s had to pull out the gap to get the pitstop window to clear the penalty.

“At the end of the day we have to accept the stewards decision.  We felt it was a racing incident. he’s not aware of where Kimi is at the point he re-joined. It was unfortunate.”

12947 posts

About author
Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
Related posts
Formula 1

Robert Shwartzman Thrilled to get Scuderia Ferrari Free Practice Opportunities

2 Mins read
Robert Shwartzman is pleased to have been given the chance by Ferrari to run both of their mandatory young driver free practice sessions in 2022.
Formula 1

Alpine vs. McLaren: Four points apart in the fight for fourth

5 Mins read
The battle between Alpine and McLaren for fourth place in the constructors championship will be a storyline to follow going into the second half of the 2022 season– Which team will come out on top?
Formula 1

Szafnauer Expecting Piastri Contract Battle to go to London High Court

1 Mins read
Otmar Szafnauer says Oscar Piastri’s contract dispute is likely to go to London’s High Court if the Australian does not honour the contract he has with Alpine in 2023.