Red Bull wonders why Hamilton avoids Verstappen-style criticism after errors

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has wondered why Lewis Hamilton doesn't get the same amount of criticism from the media as Max Verstappen does for errors.

During last weekend's season-opener in Austria, the Mercedes driver found himself subject to two penalties, the first for failing to slow under yellow flags in qualifying and the second for colliding with Alex Albon in the race.

The two penalty points Hamilton received on his superlicence actually now puts him top of that list with seven, just five short of the 12 needed for an automatic race ban.

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However, while both incidents were not big breaches of the rules, Horner was still surprised at the lack of media reaction.

“Alex was cruelly robbed of a podium and possibly even a victory. It was a slam dunk," he told the Red Bull website this week reflecting on the Albon clash.

"We had a tyre that was probably 1.2 seconds a lap quicker than Mercedes were capable of going at that stage in the race.

“Alex knew they would have problems warming their older tyres, so he needed to get the job done on Lewis quickly.

“He made his move, went around the outside and got himself ahead of Lewis mid-corner and then contact was made and Alex was in the gravel.

“He later retired from the race but the incident was particularly frustrating at our home event when we had a good chance of making it three wins in a row.

“Lewis was penalised and, I am sure if the shoe was on the other foot, then there would be plenty of media criticism, as Max has experienced in the past, but as a six-time world champion I guess these misjudgements are sometimes overlooked…”

Ahead of what will mark the first time one circuit has hosted two F1 championship rounds, as the Austrian GP becomes the Styrian GP, Albon was asked if his second collision with Hamilton would prompt any more caution.

“No, not at all," he replied. “It is just bad circumstances that we have come together twice.”