Christian Horner on Max Verstappen: “When he couldn't answer on the radio, time stopped…”

The Red Bull team-manager gave details of how the team experienced the incident at the start of the British Grand Prix.

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Almost a week after the accident that convulsed the F1Between the English Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and the Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull) during the opening lap of the Grand Prix of Great Britain, more details of what happened off the track are known, mainly about how the Austrian team experienced what happened. The confessions came from Christian horner, team-manager of the team.

“It was the biggest accident Max has had in his racing career… When Max couldn't answer on the team radio, time stopped… At that point you forget everything else… When he finally got to speak, the relief was enormous; then seeing him helped out of the car by the medical team, although somewhat dazed, it was an incredible feeling ”, Horner explained in a column posted on the Red Bull Racing website.

Christian horner
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing team-manager.

“A lot of credit (that Verstappen escaped unscathed) goes to the safety standards of these cars, the Halo and the restraint systems. The impact was such that it broke Max's seat. The car could have tipped over quite easily, which was an initial concern expressed by the medical team that responded first, but fortunately it was not. ", Agregó.


Then I detail the entire procedure that the pilot was subjected to. “Due to the size of the impact, which was measured with a g-force of 51G, medical personnel needed to ensure that there were no internal injuries or neurological problems such as a concussion. Having completed the preliminary checks at Silverstone Medical Center, it was decided that Max should be airlifted to Coventry Hospital for a CT scan and MRI to make sure nothing unpleasant happened internally or neurologically. The FIA ​​issued a statement to that effect, as did we, so that everyone was aware of the situation ”.

Max Verstappen“Max was closely monitored and then he was released from the hospital around 22pm and was able to travel home the next day. I spoke to him again on Monday morning and he said he felt like he had a fight with Tyson Fury. He was battered and bruised, but he felt lucky and grateful to the medical team, like all of us, and as is his style he was already trying to get it out of his head and look towards Hungary. "


Horner also provided his opinion on what happened when Hamilton and Verstappen arrived at Copse. “It is an incredibly high speed corner, one of the most important corners on the F.1 calendar as any driver will tell you, and one to be respected. When you look at the incident closely, Max took a wider line towards Copse compared to Leclerc when Hamilton overtook him in the race. Hamilton braked late and passed. I was going at such a speed that I would never reach the apex of the curve ... "

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crash Silverstone“If Max had passed through Copse, I don't think Hamilton would have seen him again that afternoon, as happened in the Sprint race the day before. No matter how experienced or talented they are, all drivers experience a build-up of pressure at times and this was a moment of extreme pressure for Hamilton in the championship, becoming the hunter rather than the chaser, and in front of his audience who had seen him. lose the day before on a track that has always been a stronghold of Mercedes. We all know that these situations can bring out a different driving style and that it is not characteristic of a world champion, but it is in these moments that we see a greater risk ”.


Horner also explained why he spoke to the sports stewards. “It was reported through the television broadcast that Toto (Wolff) was going to see the marshals with information that he had tried to e-mail to Michael before they handed down a sanction. It's a bit like trying to pressure a jury as they deliver their final verdict. The Stewards are locked in to ensure they are independent of outside influence in order to reach their own conclusions… ”.

“Having heard that Toto was lobbying the delegates, I went to see them and argued that none of us should be there and that it was inappropriate for anyone to interfere while the decision-making process was underway. It is also detailed in the sporting code that this is not acceptable and I am now pleased to see that the FIA ​​has clarified that this type of pressure will not be tolerated in the future as it may pressure the stewards to make a decision that is not correct. ”.


Max VerstappenThe Red Bull manager also made his position clear on the 10-second penalty that Hamilton received. “You received a slight penalty for the type of incident you caused… We are reviewing all data and we have the right to request a review. Therefore, we are still analyzing the tests and considering all our sporting options ”.

“The other significant factor is the cost of the accident. That accident cost us approximately $ 1.8 million and an accident like that has massive ramifications in an era of budget limits. " he claimed.


Lewis Hamilton
Photo: LAT Images.

Finally, Horner referred to Hamilton's subsequent attitude, which not only called Verstappen too aggressive, but celebrated his victory very effusively when his rival was in the hospital. “I would like to make it clear. This was an incident on the track between two of the best drivers in the world. By the time you have a driver in the hospital and the extent of the injuries has yet to be clarified, your car is wrecked and the stewards have penalized the driver held responsible, it is natural that the emotion is present… I feel that those who claim that Max was being 'too aggressive' at that stage was unwarranted. It just has to do with the fact that Max has zero penalty points on his license and has not been found guilty of any errors on the track in recent years. The aggressive 1-year-old F.17 rookie Hamilton referred to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the category. Both are, of course, uncompromising in their driving style, but both are highly skilled and highly experienced. The reality is that Hamilton has faced his rival in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers should show respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday… I am also still disappointed by the level of celebrations he made after the accident. The Mercedes team was aware of the severity of the accident and it was widely reported that Max had been hospitalized and required further checks… ”.

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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