Red Bull boss Christian Horner has criticised Mercedes after they sent a Queen’s Council (QC) to the stewards’ room in the aftermath of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed the title from Mercedes’ Sir Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of a dramatic and highly controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the Briton having led the race comfortably before the Nicholas Latifi-induced Safety Car period.
Mercedes launched two separate appeals following the season finale last weekend.
They were unhappy when Verstappen put his car alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton’s ahead of the Safety Car restart, as well as race director Michael Masi’s procedure in only letting five lapped cars through ahead of the final lap drama.
Red Bull sent their usual suspects to the stewards’ room after the race, but Mercedes had brought QC Paul Harris with them, which surprised and disappointed Horner.
“We were summoned to the stewards’ hearing and confronted with a barrister I had last seen dealing with a tyre issue that they had back in 2013 – suddenly you’re in the thick of it,” Horner told The Telegraph.
Horner reminded Mercedes that none of the stewards were proficient in the legal field, and therefore feels that Mercedes were utilising intimidation tactics.
“The stewards in the room, they weren’t professional lawyers,” he continued.
“There was a finance guy, the driver steward and a local steward in there. Is it fair then to be faced with a QC? That can be quite intimidating.
“He’s not an operational member of the team, he’s not a sporting director. This is an issue that needs to be considered by the FIA. We don’t want to be taking lawyers, let alone barristers, racing.”
Horner disappointed with Mercedes
Mercedes refused to address the media after the race and none of the Mercedes team attended the podium festivities.
Horner said he was disappointed that Mercedes did not take their defeat in a more graceful manner.
“I did find it disappointing that there wasn’t a single member of the Mercedes team below the podium. It’s a shame that they’ve taken it in the manner they have. Emotions run high.
“They have been a winning machine for eight years now, and at some point that has to come to an end.”
Mercedes did manage to claim their eighth consecutive Constructors’ Championship, but they refused to attend the FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Paris on Thursday night.