Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has slammed the Formula 1 rule-makers describing the speeding under red flag penalty rule as ‘rubbish’ and has called for the sport to take action following Sebastian Vettel’s three-place grid drop.

Ferrari’s Vettel will go into the United States Grand Prix with a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow sufficiently under red flags during the opening practice session. Esteban Ocon picked up the same penalty for a similar incident for Force India during practice at the Japanese round last time out, while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was also hit by the penalty rule at the season opener in Australia.

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Horner has reacted angrily to the decision but understands why the call has been made give the previous two incidents.

“It is a rubbish rule but they have got to have consistency because otherwise it makes a little bit of a farce of all the regulations if you have a penalty for one race but not at another,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “But it is not a good regulation.

“If a driver commits a crime like that, speeding under a red flag, the biggest thing that will hurt the driver is fining him.

“Give him a penalty, a wrap on the knuckles, a fine or something and give the money to charity. To give him a three-place penalty for – how much over the limit was he, not very much – similar to Daniel. It effects the race, effects qualifying and it is not a good penalty.”

Horner says a football-style referee call to look at incidents in isolation rather than taking into account previous penalties would be more appropriate and fears this episode is the latest example of over-regulation in F1.

“We are over-regulated as a sport as it is,” he said. “Sometimes you need a referee and you need them to stand up. Each crime is always going to be a little bit different so it is down to the referee to deal with each individual situation as it arises.

“I think we try, through all these team manager meetings, to come up with penalties and rules for absolutely everything but every circumstance is a little bit different.”

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