Christian Horner says he was confused with the collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the back straight of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Sunday.
Verstappen was attempting to let his championship rival passed to prevent himself getting a time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage as he kept Hamilton at bay by running off track at turn one.
However, Hamilton appeared to not get what Verstappen was doing and ran into the back of the Red Bull Racing driver, causing damage to both cars.
“There was obviously an awful lot of damage and debris for Race Control to deal with because of all the incidents, so it was a frustrating race in that respect and we were probably lucky to come away with second, especially given the amount of damage we had to the back of our car,” said Horner, the Team Principal at Red Bull.
“I don’t know what Lewis was doing because Max was trying to give the place up as instructed by Race Control, he lifted and you can hear that, it was clear we were trying to give the place up and we’d informed Race Control.
“I don’t know if Lewis didn’t want to pass before the DRS zone, but it was very strange to have him drive straight up the back of Max. We got a five second time penalty, I thought it was on the harsh side, they both went wide and were racing.”
Verstappen was ultimately forced to concede the position to Hamilton and settle for second place, meaning he and Hamilton will go into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi equal on points.
It was a doubly disappointing day for Red Bull after Sergio Pérez was forced to retire after contact with Charles Leclerc, with the team falling twenty-eight points behind the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team in the Constructors’ Championship.
“Max has fought like a gladiator this weekend and given it everything. It was frustrating to drop points in the constructors’ championship with Checo being taken out at the restart, so we now have one chance,” said Horner.
“We have a week to regroup and now it goes down to the wire at Abu Dhabi. It’s a straight-out fight as it has been for the entire year. For the fans it is fantastic, it keeps the championship dream alive and we have one shot and it’s time to take it.”