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Christian Horner

Horner: Penalties undermine FIA's 'let them race' mantra

It was a mixed afternoon for the Red Bull drivers in Austria. Max Verstappen's fine win was contrasted by Sergio Perez's struggles - who was penalised by the FIA.

Perez LEclerc
Article
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has criticised some of the penalties handed out by the FIA during a controversial Austrian Grand Prix race weekend.

Lando Norris was the first driver to suffer a five-second penalty for a move on Sergio Perez, before the Red Bull newbie himself picked one up for a similarly defensive move on Charles Leclerc.

"I was okay with the incident between Checo [Perez] And Lando [Norris]" Horner told RacingNews365 and other selected members of the media.

"It's racing around the outside, you take the risk, particularly when you're not, you know, you're not in a position that you're ahead. But I think the FIA having awarded that penalty, they then could not award a penalty for a very similar move with Charles Leclerc.

"These guys are racing karts from when they were kids, it happens. So yeah, I think the penalties were a bit harsh, and it sort of does slightly go against the 'let them race' mantra that we've been championing in recent years."

Regarding Perez's overall performance at the Red Bull Ring, Horner was relatively encouraged by what he saw. After dropping out of the points at one stage, the Mexican recovered well to come home in P6.

However, the significance of losing Perez as Max Verstappen's rear-gunner in the opening lap tangle with Norris did have big implications for the race - according to the team principal.

"Obviously, it was a shame at that point to lose your buffer with Mercedes," Horner added.

"But I think once he [Perez] managed to get himself past Daniel [Ricciardo] and into clear air, then he drove incredibly well and got his head down and built that 10 seconds by the end of the race to Daniel."

F1 2021 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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