Christian Horner claims he was shocked that Mercedes accused Red Bull of trying to "tarnish" Lewis Hamilton through their appeal regarding Hamilton's penalty at the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty for his part in a first-lap collision with Max Verstappen at Silverstone, though still went on to win the race. On Thursday Red Bull attempted to appeal for the stewards to revisit the incident but this was unsuccessful.
Following this, Mercedes issued a statement welcoming the decision to reject Red Bull's right to review, and also said: "In addition to bringing this incident to a close, we hope that this decision will mark the end of a concerted effort by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton, including in the documents submitted for their unsuccessful right of review."
Horner does not agree with these remarks and insists that the appeal was never personal.
"I think the statement by Mercedes is a little antagonistic," Horner told RacingNews365.com and other select media. "But I don't really read too much into it.
"It's never been anything personal about a single driver. It's about the events that happened and a competition between two guys. It's not individual to any driver.
"If that had been any other driver the reaction would have been identical."
Despite this, Horner accepts the ruling and is ready to move on.
"I was a little surprised at Mercedes' comments, but we've put that behind us and our focus is very much on track and obviously try to build on the momentum that we've taken after the sprint race and Silverstone," the team boss explained.
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