Horner says Mercedes’ lobbying of F1 stewards was “unacceptable”

Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner says Mercedes’ lobbying of the stewards during the British Grand Prix was “unacceptable” and should not be allowed.
Horner says Mercedes’ lobbying of F1 stewards was “unacceptable”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff visited the stewards to argue his team’s view of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s controversial collision on the opening lap of Sunday’s race at Silverstone.

Horner later went to see the stewards in person himself after finding out that Wolff had been to put forward Mercedes’ case.

“I saw Toto who was lobbying the stewards, which I heard he was going there so I went there to make sure our view was represented because I don’t think it’s right that team principals go up there to lobby the stewards,” Horner said.

“They should be locked away so they’re not influenced and for me that was unacceptable that he had gone up there to lobby the stewards. I wanted to make sure there was a balanced opinion given, rather than trying to influence pressure on the stewards to make a menial sentence.”

Both Horner and Wolff were heard on the TV broadcasts speaking to FIA race director Michael Masi during the red flag stoppage following the accident.

“That corner, he was never anywhere near alongside,” Horner told Masi. “Every driver that’s driven at this circuit knows you do not stick a wheel up the inside of Copse. That’s an enormous accident and it was 100% Max’s corner.

“So as far as I’m concerned, full blame lays on Hamilton, who should never have been in that position. So you could have had a massive accident. Thank God he’s walked away unscathed. So I hope you’re going to deal with it appropriately.”

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director.
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director.
© xpbimages.com

Meanwhile, Wolff had attempted to alert Masi to some diagrams he had emailed across, to which Masi responded: “Toto, I don’t access my emails during the race deliberately as I concentrate on the race.”

Masi then advised Wolff to go and see the stewards directly. Despite being informed of that conversation, Horner remained unmoved in his stance.

“I don’t think the stewards should be interfered with,” Horner added. “They need to be there clear-headed to make those decision.

“I went to see the stewards because I heard Toto was up there presenting a case and you want it to be fair and balanced. I don’t think anyone should be allowed to see the stewards during the course of a grand prix.”

Speaking after the race, Wolff said: “I was told that there was a rant on the radio to Michael about all the badness in the world, and then I went up and gave my opinion. I’ve been to the stewards many times.”

Masi stressed he had no problem and felt no frustration with the way the teams had communicated.

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