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Horner calls on Hamilton to apologise for Albon crash

  • Published on 05 Jul 2020 20:58
  • comments 12
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Christian Horner has called on Lewis Hamilton to apologise for the collision that saw Alexander Albon spin out of podium contention at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Albon were battling for second place towards the end of the race, with Albon equipped with a fresh set soft tyres compared to Hamilton's hard compound.

The Red Bull driver held a pace advantage on the final safety car restart and attempted to overtake Hamilton around the outside of Turn 4, but contact was made and Albon found himself spinning into the gravel.

Hamilton received a five-second time penalty as a result, which demoted him from second to fourth at the chequered flag.


MOREHamilton edging towards race ban after collision with Albon


Albon defended his overtake attempt, stating he felt he gave Hamilton enough room to go side-by-side - and Red Bull team principal Horner says he hopes Hamilton apologises to the 24-year-old.

“This sport can be pretty brutal sometimes and it feels like today’s been one of those days,” he said. “Alex drove a great race, he didn’t deserve that.

“Five seconds [penalty for Hamilton] doesn’t do anything for him. He [Albon] could’ve won that race, we strategically made the right call, gone onto the soft tyres, he was in a strong position.”

When asked if Albon could have been more patient, Horner said: “You can say that but he got the job done, so, the pass was made. It’s not like he was on the entry so what overtake is safe at the end of the day? I doubt Lewis was ever going to wave him past.

“It was just a misjudgement by Lewis at the end of the day and it’d be good if he apologised for it.”

At the penultimate round of the 2019 season in Brazil, Hamilton and Albon collided while battling for second place at the end of the race, denying Albon a podium finish. 

While the Hamilton offered an apology to Albon in Sao Paulo, Hamilton believes the clash this time around was a racing incident. 

“I can’t believe we came together again,” Hamilton said. “It really felt like a racing incident. But either way I’ll take whatever penalty they feel I deserve and move forward.”

Although he was able to rejoin the race after his spin, Albon retired from the race with Horner stating it was “something on the power unit side”.

Horner added: “We don’t know if that’s a result of the knock that he had or the trip through the gravel. We turned the engine off as a precaution.”

Replies (12)

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  • I get the call for apologies, it's what Chris Horner is expected to do. However, this was a very marginal incident. Even more marginal than Brazil last year. Also, talking about Albon's incident is a good way to take attention away from the double retirement.

    • + 1
    • Jul 5 2020 - 21:38
    • Marginal? Hammy intentionally pushed him off the track when he saw Albon was going to get the position. Albon very well could have won the race.

      • + 1
      • Jul 6 2020 - 01:37
    • Albon did retire with PU failure

      • + 0
      • Jul 6 2020 - 02:23
    • Horner said in an interview later that it wasn't a failure but they decided to turn the engine off possibly/probably(?) related to being pushed into the gravel.

      • + 0
      • Jul 6 2020 - 03:21
    • abhidbgt

      Posts: 268

      There definitely was an issue with Albon's car. He had managed to chase back to Sebastian's car and overtook him but then the gremlins made their way. Whether that was PU is not the right question but whether it resulted from the contact and subsequent gravel trip is.

      • + 0
      • Jul 6 2020 - 05:06
    • Marginal, you could see Hamilton was on full lock to the right throughout - never budged an inch - to say it was more than that is wishful thinking (Ram !). Hamilton's hardly going to listen to Horner - the chap that petitioned for his penalty - what it does show is we need to stop racing on crappy circuits that offer limited overtaking - its difficult enough with all the aero packages and this year there appears to be a concertina in performance delta in the midfield.

      • + 0
      • Jul 6 2020 - 12:11
    • Snooky

      Posts: 103

      @pistonhead, at the point of contact the corner was opened right up so plenty of steering available to him and if he was worried about under steering could have eased off slightly. He did neither. That’s not to say I think he deliberately hit him, I think he was too determined to win, mind possibly on other things and didn’t want to yield the place so played chicken. Seemed extremely determined to win more than usual and think he was frustrated at being behind Valtteri the whole race and not being able to push the whole time due to kerbs, then to find out you’ve got Albon behind you on faster tyres must have been the last straw. Think he should have recognised he was going to be passed and just accepted it, the move was bold but it needed to be to get passed LH in a Merc. Think he just figured Albon would give in or something because he almost took the racing line despite Albon being along side and slightly further ahead at some points. Sometimes just need to accept the inevitable but he’s not used to it being in such a fast car

      • + 1
      • Jul 6 2020 - 19:09
    • @Ram @pistonhead @Snooky I'm ok with this move being called clumsy and unnecessary. But the more I look at it the more marginal it appears and the more like a racing incident.

      I took a look at what Max did to Leclerc in 2019. That was Max running very wide (albeit side by side) and Max deliberately punting Charles. In this race we saw Norris punt Perez off in roughly the same place. Overall it was great racing and I'm glad none of those moves were penalised.

      Albon had a faster car and the Mercedes was getting slower. Albon made a risky move that should have worked but didn't. I don't blame him for doing that, but clearly he would have gotten a better chance in turn 2 on the next lap

      • + 0
      • Jul 7 2020 - 00:40
  • TheDentist

    Posts: 24

    Albon rushed into that move, was a racing incident. From Hamilton’s steering wheel you can see he was turning right, was no way to avoid at that point.

    • + 0
    • Jul 6 2020 - 11:10
    • Snooky

      Posts: 103

      Hamilton could have backed off or could have turned more to the right. Just didn’t want to. Was determined to win (not a bad thing) but I think he needed to accept he’d lost the position and just deal with it and move on, Albon was on fresher and faster tyres and will have known it was a matter of time anyway

      • + 2
      • Jul 6 2020 - 14:38
    • @snooky albon could have held position mid corner and not contacted Lewis' wheel... overtaking on the outside of that corner was a big risk, never mind on a car with cold, worn tyres... suck it up Red Bull the boy was too keen but good PR tactics, can't blame you after a torrid weekend where you should have picked up more points than Ferarri.

      • + 0
      • Jul 6 2020 - 22:12
    • Exactly - not once did his hands even twitch left to close the gap to Albon. Watch the video again @Snooky please. As for guessing his thought process at the time, forget it man - there was a lot going on this weekend and he's never been classed as vindictive, no, I still see it as a racing incident although I feel massively for Albon, I really do.

      • + 1
      • Jul 7 2020 - 08:11

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