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Horner reveals Hamilton-Verstappen penalty expectations

Horner reveals Hamilton-Verstappen penalty expectations

F1 News

Horner reveals Hamilton-Verstappen penalty expectations

Horner reveals Hamilton-Verstappen penalty expectations

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is expecting Max Verstappen to escape any sanction following a stewards' investigation but that Lewis Hamilton will be excluded from qualifying after failing "binary" DRS checks.

Hamilton and Verstappen set the fastest times in Friday qualifying for the São Paulo Grand Prix but both were later summoned to face the stewards, the seven-time F1 champion for a DRS technical infringement on his car and the Dutchman for a breach of the sporting code.

Assessing likely outcomes, speaking on Sky Sports F1, Horner said: "The FIA are the policemen, they are the ones to adjudicate the cars.

"The cars have to comply with the regs and they do a good job of policing that.

"The car has been reported to the stewards because it failed the test and the test is quite clear. I think we all saw the video footage of the car failing the test so I can't see how it could then be deemed to comply with the regs.

"It's fairly binary, it's either in or out."

He added: "I remember back to 2012, we had an issue with the front wing, it failed the test and we were kicked out and had to start from the back of the grid."

Verstappen 'an inquisitive animal'

After Hamilton had been summoned to the stewards, video footage emerged of Verstappen inspecting and touching the rear wing on his own car and that on Hamilton's, which is illegal.

Although the penalty range for such a breach is unclear, with a variety of options open to the stewards, Horner does not expect the Dutchman to be punished.

"I think as we have seen with many, many drivers, they sometimes have a look around at what is going on with the other cars," added Horner. "That is all it was, a bit of inquisitiveness, but nothing more.

"We've seen it here. We've had drivers pull our clutch panels, we've had heads in cockpits, we've had front wings tested, cars pushed, cars rolled around...so it's not something that's unusual.

"It's never been discussed or brought up previously.

"We're awaiting, as everybody is, to see what the outcome is but I'd be amazed if...as I said, there are so many precedents. It's almost become standard practice for drivers.

"If you were to look at every single incident, where do you draw the line? Even the driver hugging his mechanics, where do you draw the line on that?"

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