It was expected that the race in Jeddah, especially given the very particular – and dangerous – configuration of the circuit could generate confusion and accidents. However, reality has exceeded the worst expectations. The two contenders for the world title, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, have given birth to a duel with no holds barred which lasted for the entire GP, in a ferocious sequence of doors, rear-end collisions, investigations and radio messages full of anger. In the end, the Englishman returned home with the victory, while the idol of the orange public got a second place and two penalties: five seconds for having cut a chicane in the duel with his rival and ten for having ‘provoked’ the collision of Hamilton himself against him when he was trying to give him back his position.
A double punishment which, although it did not have a concrete effect on the final result of the race, certainly contributed to further igniting the spirits within the Red Bull team. Christian Horner, number one of the Austrian pit wall, after the race made no secret of regretting the late race director, Charlie Whiting, whose place since 2019 has been occupied by the Australian Michael Masi. “I think we are too regulated – commented Horner – there are rules on the distance of ten car lengths, then the formation lap is not a formation lap if there is a restart. It seems to me that there are too many rules. It seems to me that the sport is missing Charlie Whiting today. I’m sorry to say, but for the experience he had … “.
Horner complained of an unequal treatment between Hamilton – who escaped the penalty for an impeding against Nikita Mazepin in PL3 on Friday – and Verstappen, penalized on three occasions in the last two races. The only attenuation granted to Masi by the Red Bull team principal is given by the particular layout of the track. “For Michael [Masi] and for the commissioners it is difficult – Horner acknowledged – in particular in this type of circuit, due to the amount of debris and the types of curves there are. But it is the same for everyone. Obviously, most of the decisions went against us – he said bitterly – as it was in Doha a couple of weeks ago. And then we saw a couple of episodes on Saturday [quelli con Hamilton protagonista] that were questionable, to say the least “.
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