Christian Horner reveals how Red Bull would have handled Hamilton pit-stop mistake

  • Jack Figg
AUTO-F1-PRIX-AUSTRIA

Mercedes have come under fire after they admitted to making a tactical mistake which scuppered Lewis Hamilton's Austrian GP charge last weekend.

Hamilton was kept out while all of his rivals pitted after Valtteri Bottas' retirement had caused a virtual safety car to come in effect.

It meant the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen emerged ahead of the Brit when he eventually had to pit a few laps later.

Mercedes’ chief strategist James Vowles came on the team radio to take responsibility for the mistake in a very honest, yet surprising decision in the middle of a race.

Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal has been critical of the move and believes he would never single out an employee for such a misjudgment.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Horner commented on the incident and explained how the problem should have been dealt with.

“I don’t know what makes Lewis tick, but it seems a fairly bizarre thing for somebody to feel they need to throw themselves under the bus to motivate a driver to go from fourth back into the lead," he said, per the Daily Mail.

“One thing you have to do is win as a team and lose as a team. That is why, in success or failure, we hardly ever, if at all, speak about individuals. That would put an unfair amount of pressure and scrutiny on that individual. Our philosophy is collective responsibility rather than individual.

AUTO-F1-PRIX-AUSTRIA

“There has to be accountability, but that is dealt with in the right environment behind closed doors.

“My view is that in my role as team principal you are here to protect your workforce to make sure they are represented in the best possible way. That is on the good days and the bad days.”

After Vowles' apology, Hamilton sent a number of messages to the team before eventually retiring from the race with a fuel pressure problem. The Brit’s non-finish now sees Sebastian Vettel top the driver standings by one point.

Hamilton will have already turned his attention to the British GP in Silverstone - a race he was won four times consecutively since 2014 - so expect a resurgent Mercedes.

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