Christian Horner disagrees with Lewis Hamilton as he hits out at the FIA

Max Verstappen claimed victory at the Italian GP for the first time in his Formula 1 career.

Just as he did at the recent Belgian Grand Prix, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen once again recovered from a grid penalty to claim victory at the Italian Grand Prix for the first time in his Formula 1 career.

The Dutchman made lightwork of his seventh place starting position and found himself in the actual lead of the race on Lap 34/53.

Verstappen’s fifth consecutive victory increased his gap over Charles Leclerc to 116 points, meaning he will get his first opportunity to retain his 2021 World Championship at the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.

Red Bull are also on the verge of winning their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013, with the Austrian team now 139 points clear of Ferrari.

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The race at the ‘Temple of Speed’ ended under disappointing circumstances, with Verstappen having crossed the finish line behind the Safety Car, which was met with an onslaught of boos from the Italian crowd.

A Safety Car was needed on Lap 47/53, after Daniel Ricciardo came to a halt between the two Lesmos on the inside of the circuit.

The marshals attempted to push the Australian’s MCL36 into a safe spot; however, the 33-year-old’s car was unfortunately stuck in gear, meaning it had to be lifted to safety.

This further extended the duration of the Safety Car, with the situation having been cleared with insufficient time to restart the race.

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Race director Niels Wittich followed the rulebook to an absolute tee, but it hasn’t stopped him from coming under fire from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Horner “shared the disappointment” of the Tifosi in regard to the race not being restarted, with the Brit questioning why a red flag wasn’t flown so that the race could be safely restarted.

“I think there are always lessons to learn,” he said, quoted by

“But it goes against the principles of what we discussed, that it’s not good to finish races under Safety Cars.

“If they would have known they couldn’t get it going, they should have red-flagged it and restarted. But obviously that didn’t happen.”

Sir Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have both praised Wittich for following the rules by the book, something which Michael Masi failed to do at the 2021 season finale.

Horner is adamant that Wittich made many mistakes when releasing the Safety Car, including, “picking up the wrong car”.

“I think that could have been sorted out in time, to be honest with you,” he said.

“I think it was a case of picking up the wrong car.

“The Safety Car didn’t pick up the leader and then that caused a huge delay for them to have to catch up and then the released cars to catch up.

READ: Lewis Hamilton criticised the FIA in unheard radio message

“I think you could have at least got one racing lap in there. Most probably two.”

The question has been asked as to whether the rules should be changed to allow a red flag to be flown in similar situations; however, Horner thinks it’s more important for the race director “to get it right in the first place” before adjusting the rulebook.

“I think it’s better to get it right in the first place,” added Horner.