Horner admits Hamilton did nothing wrong when he unlapped himself
24 July, 2012
Jul.24 (AFP) Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has admitted that there was nothing wrong with Lewis Hamilton’s controversial passing move on Sebastian Vettel during Sunday’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
McLaren driver Hamilton, who was at the back of the field after suffering a puncture at the start of the race, came out of the pits with fresh tyres and passed Red Bull driver Vettel, who was scrapping with eventual race-winner Fernando Alonso of Ferrari for the lead.
German Vettel later labelled the Englishman ‘stupid’ and suggested his actions had cost him a chance at winning the race. However, while Horner defended Vettel’s comments, he accepted that Hamilton was within his right to overtake him.
“Obviously, drivers’ emotions run high,” said Horner. “It was an unusual situation because usually when you lap a car, it doesn’t come back past you. But Lewis was on fresh tyres.
“In Seb’s opinion, it affected his race and it did affect his race. But it’s within the rules and he [Hamilton] did nothing wrong and arguably helped his team-mate.”
He said, “If you look at the rules, I don’t think that there is anything to say that a car can’t unlap itself. It’s frustrating that it cost us a second and it’s unfortunate that he didn’t unlap himself from Fernando as well.”
“If it had cost Fernando a second as well, then it would have negated the disadvantage of being unlapped. But he was entitled to do it. We probably dropped about a second when Lewis unlapped himself, which was frustrating. But when you are fighting for hundredths and tenths of a second, that’s the way it goes sometimes,” acknowledged the Red Bull team principal.
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