Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner revealed that Lewis Hamilton’s crash with Max Verstappen had cost the team approximately £1.3 million ($1.8m).
During the first lap of the British Grand Prix, Red Bull’s star driver Max Verstappen was involved in an accident with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, which led to Verstappen crashing into the tyre barrier at an impact of 51G. Hamilton collided with Verstappen while trying to overtake him on the inside of one of the fastest corners on the circuit, Copse Corner.
Verstappen had to retire from the race and was taken to a hospital for a precautionary checkup, where he was sent out with a clean bill of health while Hamilton took the victory to revive his title hopes for the season.
In a column on the official Red Bull website, Horner explained how Verstappen is feeling, how the crash impacted the team financially and how the team was going to further look into the penalty given to Hamilton during the race.
According to Horner, Verstappen was taken to the hospital for a CT and MRI scan to ensure no damage was done because of the crash internally or neurologically. After the 6 hour checkup, Verstappen was released from the hospital and travelled home the next day. Horner further added, “I spoke to him again on Monday morning, and he felt like he’d done a few rounds with Tyson Fury. He was battered and bruised but feeling lucky and grateful to the medical team, as we all are, and in true Max style, he was already trying to put it out of his mind and look ahead to Hungary.”
This year is Formula One’s first season, where all of the ten teams have been restricted to a $145 budget cap, an amount which is going to be further scaled down over the next few years. Horner talked about how the budget cap has made the effects of the crash even more extreme.
“The other significant factor is the cost-cap element of this. The crash has cost us approximately $1.8 million, and an accident like that has massive ramifications in a budget cap era.”
Horner then commented on the 10-sec penalty given by the race stewards to Hamilton after his collision with Verstappen.” It is no secret that we felt at the time, and still feel, that Hamilton was given a light penalty for this type of incident.”
“Given the severity of the incident and the lenient penalty, we are reviewing all data and have the right to request a review. We are therefore still looking at the evidence and considering all of our sporting options.”
Horner also added that he was disappointed about the level of celebrations enjoyed in the wake of the accident. “The Mercedes team were aware of the gravity of the crash with Max widely reported as having been hospitalised and requiring further checks.”
“It is unimaginable not to inform your driver of the situation, moreover to protect your driver in case they do not show the necessary restraint in celebrating, particularly when it was as a result of an incident he was penalised for.”
He also defended Verstappen from accusations by both Mercedes and Hamilton of being an overly aggressive driver. “You only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years,” he said.
“The aggressive 17-year-old F1 rookie Max Verstappen that Hamilton is referring to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the sport.
“The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday.”