Christian Horner thinks a penalty of 10 seconds given to Max Verstappen, it was excessive. This contact after start, first one from when they are team-mate, was taken by team principal of Red Bull Racing Team philosophically. Daniel Ricciardo, to use an euphemism, was quite upset after having to stop with a radiator destroyed and his car parked at turn number 3. A drop-out immediately after starting! He immediately commented this event as a movement of an amateur pilot, asking an apologize by Verstappen. During every briefing before race, the team loves to say there is freedom to compete but paying attention to do not create troubles. In this fighting with Ricciardo, Max was excessive: it was, in our opinion, the right decision to penalize him…
What was the consequence of that penalty to Verstappen ?
Max moved to perform his pit-stop after 42 laps, a very long stint using a super-soft and he came back on the track behind Hamilton with 17 seconds of delay. Even without a penalty of 10 seconds, there was no possibility to change the situation, it is possible Mecedes was going to be forced to change his strategy but we will never know it.
Monday (after the race), Ricciardo wrote in his Twitter account:
“It was very difficult to accept what happened yesterday. You get ready to race a couple of hours and suddenly everything go up in smoke and in a particular way. Max came to apologize after the race, we talked each other, away from TV media and anybody else. This situation was handled in an appropriate way.
We are lucky, lights will turn-off again in a couple of weeks”
This is an indication there is peace between Ricciardo and Verstappen, even if Christian Horner believes an excessive penalty was given to Max Verstappen. He thinks this was only an event to forget and forgive:
“You never want to watch a crash between two pilots driving the same car where the final result is what you saw. Max broke too late at turn 2, he did a mistake blocking his tyres: if there was not Daniel, I think he was not doing the turn. Max was over to his limit and he did a mistake, an expensive one. He shall have maintained his position at turn 2, he gave a try to recover it but he did a mistake. We were pretty lucky to do not loose much more. Until today, we did not have any problem at least during 12 months. Both pilots were closer after start and there was not any contact until now.
We talked about this crash after the race and we know they can happen. I believe this is only a race event”
Hungaroring GP was supposed to be a hunt field for Red Bull Racing team, but the final result is just 10 points. Perhaps, this is the reason Max Verstappen decided to admit he did a mistake:
“It was not my intention to hit anybody, specially Daniel. He is a great guy, we love to have fun together. It is not nice what happened and I apologize because we might obtain a good amount of points. I will talk with him face to face and we will fix this problem.
At the end, this was a positive Sunday because our speed was good. It is not nice what happened after start but at least our car is improving”
Meanwhile during the last F1 test at Hungaroring, Robert Kubica came back to F1: a romantic episode. In fact, the Polish created an event similar to a footbal game. Many supporters came to the circuit to watch him, they were paid back with 142 laps and a best lap of 1:18:572. A time giving him a fourth place behind Vettel, Norris and Raikkonen. A great result even if what was really important, it was not his perfomance but to check if he was comfortable to drive a RS17. Before this test, main target was to understand if it is possible to come-back in the Circus. It is nice to remember this is not a marketing action, but an approach going along from many months: last April Robert was back on a track driving a GP3, followed by a series of private tests using an old E20 car. Now Budapest… A nice story, we hope this will end in a good way!
Right now is too early to say what is the next step. It is very rare to see a real enthusiasm like the one given to Robert Kubica. Polish pilot deserved all the congratulations of his fans, coming to the circuit to watch his come-back to Formula 1. Except an unintentional destruction of a placard with the name of Hulkenberg, when he was coming out from his box, this test was a great day for the Polish pilot. Renault used this opportunity to test different aerodynamic solutions. Team principal, Alane Permane said:
“It was a nice day, we simulated two GPs. Robert gave a good feedback and we collected a huge amount of data”
There is not doubt a come-back of Kubica will be a great opportunity for the medias while if his performance would not be good, nobody might say a word or rebuke him. It would be a win-win situation, not only for Formula 1, but to Renault, Kubica and his supporters too. A kind of story like in a movie but we would love to see it becoming true. Right now, Kubica likes to be careful about his future:
“It was a nice feeling to drive a RS17, so I allowed many fans to watch me: I want to thank everybody. I have done a long journey to come here and I gave many answers to myself. I learnt many things about these new cars. They are quite different from those ones I was used to drive: firstful they are wider.
I worked with my team in a great way and I think I did a good job. It is too early to say what is going to be next, right now I can thank Renault for this great opportunity”