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Horner opens up about punishments Verstappen and Ricciardo after Baku 2018

Horner opens up about punishments Verstappen and Ricciardo after Baku 2018

19-07-2022 12:50 Last update: 13:59


One of the biggest blunders drivers in F1 can make is mistakes that send both the driver and his teammate off the track. At Red Bull Racing this happened to Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in Baku 2018. Christian Horner opens up about the handling of the incident within the team.

Horner was furious after Baku crash

The two Red Bull drivers crashed mid-race while battling on the long straight towards the first corner. Both drivers seemed to move under braking. Verstappen defended too hard or Ricciardo attacked too hard; the incident ended in a double DNF for Red Bull. Team boss Horner was furious: "It's the most frustrating thing in the world to see your own cars collide." At Cambridge Union the Brit explains how he handled the incident. "They were both wrong. You could see it building up and eventually, after the race, they got their butts kicked. I then told them, 'They're not your cars'."

Severe penalties for Ricciardo and Verstappen

Horner could not let go of the incident the following week and decided to punish both drivers. Verstappen and Ricciardo were ordered to visit the team's factory in England and go through all the staff: "I made them go through every department and apologise for crashing the cars", Horner said. This was followed by a debriefing in which the incident was discussed in detail. What could be improved and what went well were discussed in detail. Horner: "Both drivers were a little embarrassed at that moment, but the way you really hit a driver is when they have to pay a high price."

Despite the reprimand, penalty and embarrasment, Horner did not think it was enough. The team boss therefore proceeded to apply his final sanction: "They also had to pay the bill for the Christmas party. All the drinks were paid for by the drivers. That probably hurt them more than any other penalty." The drivers' punishment shows how high cooperation between the two drivers is valued at Red Bull. Particularly now that the team is fighting for the title this year, it is important that Verstappen and Sergio Perez do not crash into each other down the track. Horner: "So that we stay ahead of Ferrari, because right now they are our main opponent."