Despite the fact that the safety car deployed by the abandonment of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren at the end of the 2022 Italian GP of Formula 1 sealed the victory of Max Verstappen, the boss of his team, Christian Horner, was categorical in stating that he would not It was the desired way to finish the race.
The Safety Car was ahead of George Russell rather than the Dutchman from Red Bull, which extended time under safety car conditions, and therefore meant that the cars he had let through did not have enough laps to unfold. .
That deprived the tifosi of seeing Charles Leclerc trying to fight the reigning world champion, who scored his 11th win of the season. The Milton Keynes team principal empathized with Ferrari fans, saying the safety car denied an “end to the stands”.
“We don’t want to win a race under a safety car,” Horner explained to Sky F1 . “And that’s something that we’ve talked about for many, many years, that they should end, and there was enough time to do it. I think they put [the Safety Car] in front of the wrong car, George Russell’s car.
“We had the fastest car, and we would have liked to win on the track, not behind the safety car, so we share the disappointment of all the fans because they have taken a finish for the stands,” he acknowledged.
Horner assured that, given Verstappen’s pace , Red Bull expected victory even without the Safety Car, but pointed out that there was a slight difference in tires between its two drivers after Ricciardo’s pit stops with Charles Leclerc.
The Briton also questioned why the operations in the removal of the McLaren car took so long, considering that it was stopped at the side of the track: “I would have liked to see how the race developed, I think we would have won it if I hadn’t There had been a safety car, we had enough pace with the one stop we made.”
“We had saved a new set of tyres, and we had Leclerc on other compounds, but it would also have been an end for the fans that we didn’t get to see,” he continued. “I think it goes against the principles that we’ve already discussed, so the biggest losers today, unfortunately, are the fans, we have to find a quick way to fix it.”
“We have to analyze the details, but for me, there was more than enough time to resume the race. And again, with a car that was not on the wall, it was parked on the side of the track,” Horner defended. .
Asked for his opinion on the safety car procedure, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said Race Direction had done their job, hinting they had learned after the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when the restart it gave Verstappen the opportunity to overtake Lewis Hamilton to take the world title from his hands.
“The Race Direction’s way of working has been criticized, but this time they have followed the rules,” he said. “Maybe they could have done it a lap earlier, or let George [Russell] pass, but they followed the rules and accepted that the race ended under the safety car, as it should.”
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