Red Bull's Horner defends Hamilton comments after Wolff criticism

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Christian Horner has defended comments he made about Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix.

The Red Bull chief slammed the seven-time world champion for, in his view, committing a "professional foul" when he made contact with Max Verstappen on the opening lap at Silverstone, sending the Dutchman into the barrier at high-speed.

Horner then went further calling Hamilton a "dirty driver" and hoped he was "very happy with himself" after a "hollow victory".

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Unexpectedly, such comments didn't sit well with Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff.

“I think you can understand that from a competitors’ point of view, the situation was upsetting,” he told “I can understand that.

“Nevertheless, the language that was used, and making it so personal, was a level that we have not seen in this sport before.

“I think once the emotions are down, we will try to restore our professional relationship for the sake of Formula 1 but beyond that, there were no discussions, and don’t need to be.

“I think controversy and polarisation is a good narrative and good content for the sport. Where it spills over into personal animosities, it’s where you’re overstepping the mark. But again, everybody needs to judge how he wants to do it.”

In his Red Bull column though, Horner felt compelled to respond to Wolff.

“I felt the narrative that Max was being ‘overly aggressive’ at that stage was unjustified," he replied.

“I would like to make it clear – this was an on-track incident between two of the best drivers in the world. At the point in time when you have a driver in hospital and the extent of any injuries have not yet been made clear, your car has been written off and the stewards have penalised the driver seen to be responsible, it is natural that emotion comes into play, for all involved, whether you feel wronged or victorious.

“But you only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years.

“The aggressive 17-year-old F1 rookie Max Verstappen that Hamilton is referring to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the sport.

“Both drivers are, of course, uncompromising in their driving style, but they are both highly skilled drivers with a great deal of experience.

“The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive and I agree both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday.”

In his only comments on the day of the collision, Verstappen was critical of Hamilton's exuberant victory celebrations at Silverstone while he was still in the hospital.

And that was something else the Red Bull boss called out Mercedes for.

“I am still disappointed about the level of celebrations enjoyed in the wake of the accident,” he said.

“The Mercedes team were aware of the gravity of the crash, with Max widely reported as having been hospitalised and requiring further checks.

“It is unimaginable not to inform your driver of the situation, moreover to protect your driver in case they do not show the necessary restraint in celebrating, particularly when it was as a result of an incident he was penalised for.”