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Horner: Mercedes didn't break rules on purpose

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner doesn't believe there was any intent from Mercedes to break the rules with their rear wing in Friday qualifying at Interlagos.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner doubts there was any intent from Mercedes to break the Technical Regulations after Lewis Hamilton was thrown out of Friday qualifying in Brazil for a Drag Reduction System (DRS) infringement, which saw his rear wing flap opening too much. In their verdict, the stewards explained that they didn't believe there had been any intent in the design or operation of the components that resulted in the breach of the rules, which Horner said he agreed with. "People don't design things on purpose to break regulations, because that would obviously be illegal," Horner told Sky Sports. "You wouldn't design something purposely to break a regulation. That'd be very naughty." Horner reckons the simple reason for the transgression is down to Mercedes simply pushing the envelope of performance too much. "Engineers will always push to the limit and these regulations, if you look at them, they're like an encyclopedia," he said. "Trying to translate and interpret them, engineers will always push boundaries, and we've seen that this year. "We've been challenged, Mercedes have been challenged, and it gives the FIA a headache, because they've got to police it."

"Not the difference in qualifying"

Horner went on to state that he didn't believe the rear wing transgression played a critical role in helping Hamilton to the fastest time in qualifying, in which he finished four-tenths clear of second-placed Max Verstappen. "I don't know how much it was over... It wouldn't be massive, it'd be incremental," added Horner. "But there's a test that it has to pass. I don't think that was the difference between him getting the pole or not yesterday. "They've got tremendous straight-line speed. They put a new engine in, they're pretty potent when they're new and they degrade as they go, and they've done that for a reason." With the situation now clarified after some 20 hours of deliberations, Horner said it's time to refocus on the on-track action. "Whatever's happened, happened. It is what it is," he said. "We're certainly not dwelling on that. We're very much focused on ourselves. I'm just glad it's not us in that situation."

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