Horner has each proper to battle Crimson Bull’s nook. In fact he does. However his complaints about illegally flexing rear wings, a topic upon which his personal group continues to face scrutiny, have to be taken behind closed doorways. In a tense press convention on the Qatar GP, Horner and his Mercedes counterpart, Toto Wolff, took the cleaning soap opera to new ranges of grubbiness within the full glare of the world’s media.
If Crimson Bull is so sure that Mercedes’ automobile will fail the FIA’s load assessments, which have been revised within the wake of this row, why hasn’t it lodged an official protest?
Horner’s private conduct fell to a brand new low in Qatar when he accused a “rogue marshal” of contributing confusion to Verstappen lacking waved yellow flags in qualifying, which earned the Dutchman a five-place grid penalty. Marshals are volunteers with out whom motorsport could be misplaced. They shouldn’t be above censure, however for an F1 group boss to name one out in public is unacceptable. Horner was reprimanded by the FIA, realised he had gone too far and apologised, as he ought to.
The gamesmanship will rage on to the chequered flag (and sadly maybe past) in Abu Dhabi. However the midrace haranguing of race director Michael Masi from group managers by way of radio messages broadcast to the world is akin to footballers surrounding referees to sway their decision-making. All nice stuff, I’m certain, for Netflix and its sensationalist Drive to Survive documentary sequence, which has profoundly boosted F1’s recognition. But it surely’s ugly, contemptible behaviour. Sportsmanship is an oldfashioned, twee idea among the many F1 hardcore – but grand prix racing is a lot poorer with out it.
So now will Hamilton and Verstappen present their bosses the way it needs to be performed as their duel hits boiling level? It will be so refreshing in the event that they do. In the end, how this season can be remembered needs to be of their fingers, not these of their warring chiefs.
Race for a race