until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Horner summoned to F1 stewards over sporting code breach

by Edd Straw
2 min read

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has been summoned by the Qatar Grand Prix stewards for an alleged breach of the FIA’s International Sporting Code.

The summons was issued at the end of the race at the Losail International Circuit, in which Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished second and fourth respectively.

The stewards’ cites two articles in the code that Horner is alleged to have breached – 12.2.1 f) and 12.2.1 k). Article 12 is a section of the ISC covering breaches of the rules, with a broad suite of potential penalties that can stretch from a simple warning up to and including severe sporting sanctions.

Article 12.2.1 f) covers “any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA”.

Article 12.2.1 k) covers “any misconduct towards: licence holders, officials, officers or member of the staff of the FIA, members of the staff of the organiser or promoter, members of the staff of the competitors, doping control officials or any other person involved in a doping control carried out in accordance with Appendix A”.

The summons offers no information on what action by Horner these alleged breaches pertain to, but it is potentially related to comments he made before the race after Verstappen was hit with a five-place grid penalty for disregarding double waved yellow flags at the end of qualifying.

In an interview with SkySportsF1, Horner blamed the penalty on the actions of a “rogue marshal” for waving the flag and also criticised race director Michael Masi when he said there “needs to be some grown decisions made by grown-ups” and that the “race director should have control of the circuit”.

The comments about Masi and what he said about the circumstances that led to Verstappen’s penalty do potentially fall foul of the two articles of the ISC cited.

“I’m struggling to understand it,” Horner said before the race of the Verstappen penalty. “The race director [Michael Masi] effectively said ‘play on, it’s safe, it’s clear’.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Qatar Grand Prix Race Day Doha, Qatar

“Max was at the beginning of the lap, in the first sector, so he has so much time to look at it. Otherwise, we’d have informed him.

“Unfortunately, there’s a yellow flag, he just didn’t see it, he even saw a green light on the right-hand side [in the pitlane].

“I think it’s just a rogue marshal that’s stuck a flag out, he’s not been instructed to by the FIA, they’ve got to have control of their marshals, it’s as simple as that because that’s a crucial blow in this world championship for us.

“Now he’s starting P7 at a track you can’t overtake at. That is massive.”

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