Red Bull boss Christian Horner has hinted he feels Lewis Hamilton should receive a race ban for wiping out his Formula 1 championship rival Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.
Poleman Verstappen grappled with Hamilton for the race lead on the first lap for the second successive day having scrapped at the start of F1’s sprint race on Saturday.
On Sunday, the duo collided on the entrance to the Copse right-hander and Verstappen was sent into the barriers while Hamilton would later pick up a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision.
Hamilton was able to fight back from fourth place by passing Lando Norris, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas (via a team order), and Charles Leclerc to win his first race in over two months.
Immediately after the incident that red flagged the race, Horner lambasted Hamilton’s “dirty driving” and he went even further following the race finish.
“In previous years, drivers have missed future events because of first lap incidents like that” :: Christian Horner
“Well the penalty doesn’t fit the crime,” a furious Horner told Channel 4.
“It’s a desperate move that you wouldn’t expect from a seven-time world champion.
“He’s seen no penalty for the action that he took. It doesn’t fit with the action or the move he made.
“You look at in previous years, drivers have missed future events because of first lap incidents like that.”
Romain Grosjean was the last F1 driver to receive a race ban when he triggered a multi-car pile-up on the opening lap of the 2012 Belgian GP – having caused multiple incidents prior to the race – and was forced to miss the following round at Monza.
Horner said he could see the potential contact “building all weekend” and was asked what Red Bull could do with the race already complete and Hamilton’s penalty served.
“We have the right to protest, we have the right to appeal,” Horner added.
“We’ll consider our options but the most important thing for us is that Max is OK. That’s the biggest result.”
Verstappen's car is untangled from the barriers, lifted onto a pick-up truck and is on its way back to the pits
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 18, 2021
Verstappen was taken to a local hospital near the circuit for precautionary checks after what Horner claimed was a 51G impact with the barriers.
“I can’t see how Hamilton can take any satisfaction out of a win when you’ve put your fellow competitor in hospital,” Horner said.