Christian Horner apologises to Formula 1 stewards – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has apologised to the F1 race stewards at the Qatar Grand Prix after making remarks that earned him a reprimand in Doha on Sunday
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has formally apologised to the race stewards at the Qatar Grand Prix after making abusive comments before the start of the race when his driver Max Verstappen was given a five-place grid penalty.
On Sunday in Doha, Horner was summoned to the race stewards after the race finish for an alleged breach of Articles 12.2.1 f and 12.2.1 k of the International Sporting Code which protect FIA members from: “Any statement, act or writing which causes moral prejudice or loss to the FIA… or its executive officers, and more generally to the interests of motor sport.” The second ground for summons, that of article 12.2.1 (k) of the ISC, covers that of : “Misconduct against personnel involved in the organisation and running of a Grand Prix.”
Specifically, Horner was accused of making comments about a “rogue” steward earlier in the weekend after his driver Max Verstappen was given a grid penalty for failing to comply with a double yellow flag in qualifying [when Pierre Gasly suffered a puncture].
The FIA has therefore decided to reprimand the Red Bull team boss for his comments, while the Briton has also agreed to take part in the 2022 FIA International Stewardship Programme next February. Something akin to a speed awareness course for those who live in the UK who might’ve been caught exceeding the road speed limit.
Speaking on the subject late in the evening in Doha on Sunday, Horner said his reaction was “made under pressure from the competition” when news of his driver’s penalty came shortly before the start of the race:
“Some of the comments were made, I think, in an interview earlier today where you asked me about the stewards and I just want to make it clear that the stewards are doing a great job and we need them,” the Briton told Sky Sports.
“They are volunteers, they do a great job. And my frustration in what I said earlier was not with the stewards, it was in a particular circumstance. So if anyone was offended, I apologise of course.
“My frustration was not with any particular commissioner. It was just that the situation was inconsistent because there was one car that had a yellow flag and another got a double yellow flag [Verstappen’s].”
“I think we can all learn from that as a sport. As far as the stewards are concerned, I just have to tell them that we need them, they do a great job and I would like to apologise again if that was interpreted as an insult.”
On the sporting front, after the Qatar Grand Prix the Red Bull Racing team closed the gap slightly on Mercedes in the constructors’ championship and is now just five points behind the German manufacturer’s team, with only two races remaining before the end of the season.