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Horner labels Verstappen’s penalty ‘harsh’ as he gives his take on 'frustrating' collision with Norris

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 28: Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner attends the

Christian Horner has given his view on the dramatic late-race collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in the Austrian Grand Prix, with the Red Bull boss arguing that the 10-second penalty handed to Verstappen was “harsh”.

Verstappen had led for much of the race before seeing his advantage over second-placed Norris cut following a rare slow pit stop from the Red Bull squad on Lap 52 of 71. A thrilling chase ensued in the laps that followed as Norris attempted several overtakes in a battle for the lead.

READ MORE: ‘The entire world knows who is responsible’ – Stella weighs in on Verstappen/Norris Austria clash as he makes 2021 comparison

It all came to a head on Lap 64 when there was contact between the pair, resulting in both picking up punctures and having to return slowly to the pits. While Norris sustained too much damage to continue, Verstappen rejoined and ended the event in fifth place.

2024 Austrian Grand Prix: High drama as Norris and Verstappen collide after titanic battle for the lead

The Dutchman did, however, receive a 10-second time penalty after being deemed at fault for the incident, but ultimately had enough of a gap to Nico Hulkenberg in sixth to hold the position.

Norris had also received a five-second penalty for track limits prior to his retirement while, at the front, George Russell swept through to win the race.

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: ‘We did everything wrong’ – Did Red Bull’s strategy calls really put Verstappen into Norris’s clutches?

Speaking to Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz after the race, Horner said of the clash: “It looked like there was enough space up there for Lando and he’d already had the violation with the four-strikes of track limits. But one of those things.

“You’ve got hard racers, and Lando got his elbows out. There’s been contact before with them, and in the end it cost both of them.”

2024 Austrian Grand Prix: Verstappen hits out at penalty for Norris clash

Reflecting on the punishment handed out to Verstappen – who had earlier taken victory ahead of the McLaren pair of Oscar Piastri and Norris in Saturday’s Sprint – Horner expressed some frustration over the decision.

“He picked up a puncture, he got the penalty,” the Team Principal commented. “I thought the penalty was harsh but that’s racing sometimes. It’s frustrating, particularly here at this race, but that’s the way racing goes sometimes. We had an incredible win yesterday, we were controlling the race nicely but that’s Formula 1.

READ MORE: ‘I feel let down’ – Norris says Verstappen ‘in the wrong’ as both drivers give their take on Austria clash

“Congratulations to George, but nonetheless I think we can take a lot of positives out of this weekend. We’ve had a very strong car, two poles, a Sprint race win and I think Max has even extended his championship lead.”

As mentioned by Horner, Verstappen remains at the top of the drivers’ standings with a tally of 237 points, giving him a lead of 81 points over Norris.

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