Max Verstappen’s Silverstone Crash Costs $1.8 Million

Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 16, 2021 in Northampton, England. (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)
Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 16, 2021 in Northampton, England. (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)

The cost of championship-leader Max Verstappen‘s crash with Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix was approximately $1.8 million, according to Red Bull‘s Christian Horner.

Furthermore, the team is still contemplating its sporting options regarding Lewis Hamilton’s “lenient” ten-second penalty.

During the opening lap of the Silverstone race, Verstappen and Hamilton collided. Hamilton was penalised for the incident but still managed to win the race, cutting Verstappen’s championship lead from 33 points to seven.

Verstappen was taken to a hospital for precautionary checks after experiencing 51 G-forces in the crash.

In comments on Friday, Horner said: “It is no secret that we felt at the time, and still feel, that Hamilton was given a light penalty for this type of incident

“Given the severity of the incident and the lenient penalty, we are reviewing all data and have the right to request a review. We are therefore still looking at the evidence and considering all of our sporting options.”

This season is the first in which F1’s 10 teams are restricted to a $145 budget cap, an amount which is scheduled to be scaled down in the following seasons, something which Horner said has made the crash’s effects even more extreme.

“The other significant factor is the cost-cap element of this. The crash has cost us approximately $1.8 million and an accident like that has massive ramifications in a budget cap era.”

Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 16, 2021 in Northampton, England. (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)
Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 16, 2021 in Northampton, England. (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)

Horner reiterated his remarks five days after the incident.

“I would like to respond to some comments I have seen from [Mercedes boss] Toto [Wolff], who is quoted as saying our comments regarding Hamilton having caused the accident were ‘so personal’,” he said.

“I would like to make it clear. This was an on-track incident between two of the best drivers in the world. At the point in time when you have a driver in hospital and the extent of any injuries have not yet been made clear, your car has been written off and the stewards have penalised the driver seen to be responsible, it is natural that emotion comes into play, for all involved, whether you feel wronged or victorious.

“I also felt the narrative that Max was being ‘overly aggressive’ at that stage was unjustified. You only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years.

“The aggressive 17-year-old F1 rookie Max Verstappen that Hamilton is referring to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the sport. Both drivers are of course uncompromising in their driving style, but they are both highly skilled drivers with a great deal of experience.

“The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday.

“I am also still disappointed about the level of celebrations enjoyed in the wake of the accident.

“The Mercedes team were aware of the gravity of the crash with Max widely reported as having been hospitalised and requiring further checks.

“It is unimaginable not to inform your driver of the situation, moreover to protect your driver in case they do not show the necessary restraint in celebrating, particularly when it was as a result of an incident he was penalised for,” concluded Horner.

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