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F1 Belgian GP: Horner trusts Stewards inaction over ‘on the edge’ Verstappen

Christian Horner says the decision by stewards not to investigate Max Verstappen during the Belgian GP is proof enough he raced fairly.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has played down the suggestion Max Verstappen's driving tactics need clamping down on, saying the decision by stewards not to investigate two controversial incidents involving Kimi Raikkonen during the Belgian Grand Prix should be reason enough to move on.

Under the gaze of a huge Dutch contingent travelling across the border to Spa-Francorchamps, Verstappen endured a fraught race day after colliding with Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel at the first corner – for which Vettel blamed Verstappen.

Verstappen will cause a massive accident, warns Raikkonen

He was then being slammed for his conduct whilst defending from Raikkonen later in the race as they attempted to make up ground, the Dutchman jinking to cut off the Ferrari's line along the Kemmel Straight and forcing the Finn to back off. Verstappen eventually came home 11th in the damaged RB12, with Raikkonen ninth.

Marking his second run-in with Raikkonen in three races, Verstappen was steadfast in his view that he did nothing wrong, only for Raikkonen to suggest he will cause a 'massive accident' if nothing is done.

However, while Ferrari's Maurizio Arrivabene came to support of his drivers, Horner feels the inaction of the stewards in the race is testament that it believed the fight was 'on the edge' but ultimately fair.

Verstappen defends himself - 'It's good TV if somebody is moaning…'

“It was on the edge, he got away with it today, the Stewards were happy with it. So if there were to be an issue or a conflict of any rules I'm sure Danny Sullivan's an experienced guy, he would have called them up or Charlie Whiting would have reported it to the Stewards. There was no action from the Stewards, when he looked back at it, it was on the edge, and obviously he got away with it today. I'm sure he'll have a look at it and learn for future races.

Joking that he should lay low at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, Horner says Vettel himself came into plenty of criticism during his early years as a Red Bull-backed driver.

“I told him not to tell anyone where he's staying in Monza because I'm sure there's some angry Italians. As I say, if there was a major issue with it, the Stewards would have pulled him up. We've seen that before, he was on the limit, he's young, all the seriously ambitious and gifted drivers have that streak within them.

“I remember Sebastian getting criticized here a few years ago, there's been a few other drivers as history's demonstrated that have shown that fighting spirit, and I think that's why it's part of that fighting spirit which is why there's been such a big crowd here.”

RESULTS: Belgian Grand Prix – Race results


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benignlyindifferent

August 29, 2016 3:00 PM

So, an ex Indy driver and F1 driver from a very long time ago, when moves like this were allowed, is chosen as race steward. I do not question his judgment, just the consistency of the rulings. Where was Emanuele Pirro, race steward for Monaco and recent winner of Lemans, and much more recent F1 competitor? This is the crux of the problem - the FIA brings in one time stewards for individual races and asks them to make consistent judgment calls. If Max's move had been made by another driver in an earlier race, and was punished, and if that same stewart was in charge of this race, he might not have even tried the move. But if he did, it would not "be on the edge" but would have resulted in a penalty. Stupid system.



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