Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner backed his driver Alexander Albon in the incident involving him and world champion Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Albon was fighting for the second place with Hamilton when they collided with 10 laps to go. The incident resulted in Albon spinning out and losing track position while Hamilton received a five-second penalty for causing the collision.
Albon retired from the race while Hamilton crossed the line in 2nd place but dropped down to 4th thanks to the penalty.
It was the second time in three races that Hamilton and Albon had collided, after the Brazilian Grand Prix last season, with the British-born Thai again coming off worse.
Horner asked for an apology from Hamilton, like he had done after the race at Interlagos in November last year.
“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,” Horner said.
Red Bull’s home race at Spielberg turned out to be a disaster with both drivers – Max Verstappen and Albon – retiring their cars due to technical problems.
“It looks something on the power unit side with Alex. 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.
“This sport can be pretty brutal sometimes and it feels like today’s been one of those days.
“Alex drove a great race, he didn’t deserve that five seconds [as a penalty for Hamilton] doesn’t doesn’t do anything for him. He could’ve won that race, we strategically made the right call, gone onto the soft tyres, he was in a strong position,” Horner added.
Albon meanwhile, claimed that Hamilton’s mistake cost him a potential win at the Red Bull Ring.
I’m a bit fresh right now, so I’ve got to be careful what I say,” Albon told television reporters. “I really felt like we could have won that race.
“I feel like this one, I wouldn’t say it hurts more but I felt like Brazil was a bit more 50/50.
“I gave as much space as I really could, I was on the edge. I thought if I give him as much space as I can give him, it was up to him if he wants to crash or not,” Albon said.
Hamilton on the other hand, described the incident as “a really unfortunate scenario”.
“I can’t believe we’ve come together again. It really felt like a racing incident but either way I’ll take whatever penalty they feel I deserve and move forwards,” he said after the race.