Christian Horner has blasted the 'over-regulated' aspects in F1 in light of the fallout from the Mexican Grand Prix and wants F1 decision-makers to come up with simple rules and let drivers race.
Horner saw his driver Max Verstappen penalised for cutting the corner at turn one in the closing stages of the Mexico race and was subsequently handed a five-second time-penalty which dropped him to fourth place.
Earlier in the race, Lewis Hamilton had an almost identical incident on the first lap but escaped any penalty from the stewards, which FIA race director Charlie Whiting explained the reasons behind in the Thursday press conference at Interlagos – a relatively unprecedented move in F1.
Horner has accepted the explanation on why his Red Bull driver was penalised while Hamilton avoided any but did highlight it became the latest in a line of complicated rulings which caused confusion.
“I think that we're over-regulated in many respects, that the drivers need to take a rulebook with them really on a Sunday now in the car and consult it before they either defend or make an overtaking manoeuvre,” Horner said. “There's too much subjectivity and interpretation of different events.
“It's very difficult for the teams, for the drivers and one can only think for the viewers as to what's permitted and what isn't. I think, like all things in life, keep it simple. Keep it straightforward. I'd say less rules but more clarity in terms of what the rules of engagement are. Nobody wants to see dangerous driving but let the drivers race, let them go wheel to wheel.”
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Horner has backed up calls from Daniel Ricciardo to reinstate stronger deterrents for going off track, such as a gravel trap or potentially one hard and fast rule, which would take out the subjectivity which causes confusion.
“I think let's avoid the situation that drivers can cut corners and gain an advantage,” he said. “Put a gravel trap there. Put something to slow the cars down, and then it takes that subjectivity away from stewards having to interpret it. Let's come up with something straight forward and simple that's easy to understand and interpret.”
In Thursday's press conference Whiting dismissed the idea of inconsistencies between steward decisions, with stewards changing race to race, and has backed the choices made by his team in Mexico.
“Every incident is different. Some can look at first sight to be very similar to another incident from a previous race but when you examine more carefully they can differ,” Whiting said. “You must remember also that the stewards have an enormous amount of images available to them, data, all manner of things available to them which you don't see.
“I think it's easy to say decisions are made inconsistently but more often than not, in my opinion, when you look into it in detail, you find that, in fact, Incident A wasn't the same as Incident B. They have small differences and that's where I think further explanation is sometimes needed.”
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