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Start Saudi Arabian GP
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Max Verstappen

Horner provides update on possible Verstappen penalty

Christian Horner has given his take on Max Verstappen's parc ferme incident in Brazil and what he expects from the stewards' hearing.

Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has commented on Max Verstappen's parc ferme incident after qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, indicating that he'd be "amazed" to see the stewards take serious action.

Verstappen was summoned to the stewards over an alleged breach of the FIA International Sporting Code relating to parc ferme conditions, with fan footage appearing to show him touch the rear wing on title rival Lewis Hamilton's car.

Article 2.5.1 of the Sporting Code states: "Inside the parc ferme, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations."

After the hearing at 09:30 local time (12:30 in the UK) on Saturday, Verstappen and Red Bull are now waiting to hear if they will be penalised.

"We're awaiting, I think as everybody is, to see what the outcome is," Horner told Sky Sports, when asked for an update.

"I'd be amazed if it was... There's so many precedents, it's become standard practice for drivers. If you were to look at every single incident, where do you draw the line? Even the driver hugging his mechanics, where do you draw the line on that?"

"Drivers are inquisitive animals"

Horner argued that plenty of drivers have acted in a similar way to Verstappen in previous years, with no action being taken.

"As we see with many, many drivers, they sometimes have a look around at what's going on with the other cars, so that's all it was, a bit of inquisitiveness, but nothing more," he went on to comment.

"We've had drivers pull our clutch paddles, we've had heads in cockpits, we've had front wings tested, tyres pushed, so it's not something that's unusual. It's never been brought up or discussed previously."

Horner added: "Mercedes' straight-line speed is very impressive, so I think he's maybe just having a look at that.

"Drivers are very inquisitive animals sometimes, aren't they? As I say, we've seen that many, many times."

Mercedes' rear wing

Verstappen's call up from the stewards came after Hamilton and Mercedes had been summoned for an alleged Drag Reduction System (DRS) breach, with the outcome of that hearing also yet to be communicated.

"The car has been reported to the stewards because it failed the test, and the test is quite clear," Horner said of the Mercedes.

"We all saw the video footage of the car failing test, so I can't see how it did could then be deemed to comply with the [regulations], so it's fairly binary.

"I remember back to 2012, we had an issue with the front wing, it failed the test, then we were kicked out and had to start from the back of the grid. You have the right to appeal it as a team, [and] we chose not to on that day, but were still able to come through to P3."

Follow Rudy van Buren as he takes you on a flying lap around the Interlagos Circuit, home of the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix

The latest news about the Sao Paulo Grand Prix straight from the Interlagos Circuit.

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