Christian Horner slams F1 ‘inconsistency’ after Lewis Hamilton escapes penalty at Saudi Arabia Grand Prix

The Red Bull boss said his team will ‘have a look’ at whether to launch an appeal after Max Verstappen was hit with a five-place grid penalty in Qatar

Jamie Braidwood
Saturday 04 December 2021 19:59
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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has called for “consistency” as Lewis Hamilton escaped a grid penalty after being summoned to the stewards for two separate incidents at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton will start on pole position for Sunday’s race after Max Verstappen hit the wall on the final lap of a dramatic qualifying session.

And there was further drama earlier in the day as Hamilton was called to the stewards one hour before the start of qualifying in Jeddah after allegedly failing to respect double-waved yellow flags and impeding Nikita Mazepin.

Hamilton faced no further action for the yellow flag incident after the FIA admitted that the signals had been activated “accidentally” and for less than one second.

And while the seven-time world champion received a reprimand and Mercedes were fined €25,000 for impeding Mazepin during the Haas driver’s hot lap, Hamilton escaped any further punishment that could have had a bearing on the penultimate race of the season.

The FIA extended the period of time in which teams could appeal their ruling until after the end of qualifying and Horner admitted that Red Bull would review the incident again before making a decision.

Verstappen was hit with a five-place grid penalty at the Qatar Grand Prix two weeks ago for not slowing for double-waved yellow flags in qualifying. The Dutchman eventually finished behind Hamilton in second place.

“We’ll have a good look at it,” Horner told Sky Sports when asked whether Red Bull would appeal the FIA’s ruling on the two incidents in practice.

“It feels a little inconsistent from what we’ve seen two weeks ago. We’ve got the right to an appeal and we will have a look at the information. We haven’t looked at it that closely yet.

“These decisions are so late so we’ll have a look. The one thing that we desperately want is consistency. The problem is if we appeal it’s the same stewards and it will be the same decision.”

Verstappen holds an eight-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ standings but will start behind his title rival and Valtteri Bottas after Mercedes locked out the front row following his crash.

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