Red Bull says Verstappen crash chapter ‘closed’

Sat, 31 July 2021, 09:00

Jul.31 (GMM) Red Bull is ready to move on from the saga surrounding Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s highly contentious clash at Silverstone.

“As far as we are concerned, the chapter is closed now,” said team boss Christian Horner, after Red Bull lost an appeal against the leniency of British GP winner Hamilton’s subsequent penalty.

Also speaking in Hungary, Dr Helmut Marko agrees: “The reasoning (of the stewards) was different from ours and we accept that.”

However, Red Bull wanted to close the controversy with a reply to Mercedes’ official statement accusing the Austrian team of questioning Hamilton’s “good name and sporting integrity”.

Horner said he was “a bit surprised” when that statement dropped.

“That was a bit hostile,” he quipped.

Marko, who is Red Bull’s top Austrian F1 official, also hit back at the FIA’s admitted concern about “certain allegations” made in Thursday’s stewards appeal.

“That’s a bit mysterious,” he said.

“I can only imagine that is relates to our complaint about Toto Wolff going to the stewards with questionable documents. Maybe that’s what they meant by that.

“We understood that as a kind of attempted influence.”

Marko also says a lot is being made of the controversy from a “political” point of view – namely, the criticism aimed at Hamilton.

For instance, although it is true Red Bull has fired an employee for alleged racism, sources say it had nothing to do with any abuse aimed at Hamilton following the Silverstone crash.

Marko says: “We would have commented on any other driver the same way as we did with Hamilton. It has nothing to do with Hamilton. No matter which driver, we would have acted the same way.”

As for whether Red Bull will now continue to perpetuate the crash saga, he insisted: “No, there is no aftermath now. You have to let it go.”

Wolff, though, makes clear that he rejects the way Red Bull handled the criticism of Hamilton, telling Sky Deutschland: “That is not how you talk about a seven time world champion who goes all out for a good cause.

“Sometimes you have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and ask yourself how it would feel. Some people are intellectually and emotionally not always capable of doing this.”

Ralf Schumacher, though, rejects that statement.

“I don’t think it’s good for Mercedes to treat criticism of Hamilton as though it’s blasphemy against a royal or something. At the end of the day, Lewis goes to the same bathroom as all of us.”

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