Horner: Saudi race control calls shows F1 misses Whiting

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Formula 1 missed the experience of former race director Charlie Whiting during a chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Listen to this article

Horner was left frustrated at a number of decisions made by current F1 race director Michael Masi during the Jeddah race – which included the five-place grid penalty that ultimately cost Max Verstappen a chance of winning.

On an evening that included Masi making major calls on red flags, handing positions back, bartering with Red Bull over grid slots and judging off-track overtaking, Horner felt it had not been a good evening for the sport.

With a number of recent decisions by Masi having already divided opinion among competitors, Horner felt that the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix had exposed what the sport was lacking following the passing of Whiting in 2019.

Asked about comments from Verstappen that the calls made in the Saudi event were not F1, Horner said: “I think we're over regulated.

“There's rules about 10 car lengths, then the formation lap isn't a formation lap if it's a restart. It feels that there's too many rules.

“It felt like today the sport missed Charlie Whiting, I'm sorry to say, but the experience that he had…

“It's obviously frustrating but yeah, it's difficult for Michael [Masi] and the stewards, particularly at this type of venue, type of circuit, with the amount of debris and types of corner there are, but yeah, it's the same for everybody.”

Read Also:
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing is interviewed by David Coulthard

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing is interviewed by David Coulthard

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Horner questioned the consistency of the FIA's decision-making process, as he said that Masi’s rulings against Verstappen, including moving him back for the second restart and the five-second penalty, were in contrast to Hamilton escaping sanction for allegedly ignoring yellow flags and nearly colliding with Nikita Mazepin in Friday's final free practice session.

“Obviously pretty much every decision went against us, as they did in Doha a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “Then we saw two incidents yesterday that ... it's been variable to say the least.”

Horner conceded that the intensity of events in the Saudi race, which included managing a lot of debris on the track, was not straightforward to manage.

However, he reckoned there were big lessons to be learned from the events in Jeddah.

“I think it was a tough race for them to manage today,” he said about race control. “Obviously a lot of debris, there was obviously a lot of traffic, backwards and forwards with race control over various different incidents, and then safety cars, virtual safety cars, restarts.

“Some of the process obviously was difficult to keep track of, so I think there are many lessons out of that race that will be discussed at length over the coming weeks.”

Read Also:
shares
comments
Hamilton may have given up fastest lap if he saw wing damage
Previous article

Hamilton may have given up fastest lap if he saw wing damage

Next article

Norris: "Stupid" red flag F1 tyre change rules must be changed

Norris: "Stupid" red flag F1 tyre change rules must be changed
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Prime

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter Prime

When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Prime

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week, and though it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted more just why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action.

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023