Horner calls Mercedes absence from FIA gala a “shame”

Christian Horner is unhappy with Mercedes for snubbing the F1 prize gala at the end of the season.

The fallout from Max Verstappen’s controversial championship win under the lights of Yas Marina was not accepted by Mercedes. They were subjected to an outright breaking of the rules, something they took exception to.

While they have since withdrawn the appeals they initially submitted, they still felt hard done and robbed. As a result, they decided to boycott the gala, with Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff being key absentees at the function.

Horner was unhappy with Mercedes for snubbing the gala, and lamented their inability to take a loss.  

Speaking to The Telegraph, the Red Bull team principal said, “I did find it disappointing.

“And 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.”

Horner: Unusual calls in Abu Dhabi would make "mockery" of F1 stewarding
Horner (pictured) did not like Mercedes going AWOL. Source: motorsport.com

All your fault

Horner went on to defend their Drivers’ Championship victory, and highlighted Mercedes’ decision to not pit as the reason they lost.

“You can’t examine incidents in isolation,” he said.

“So many decisions had gone against us. Even at the beginning of the race in Abu Dhabi, no penalty was given to Hamilton for cutting the chicane.

“Lots of people have said that Lewis was a sitting duck in Abu Dhabi. But tactically, Mercedes made an error. They had the choice to pit, they chose not to, and they left him in that situation.

“Naturally, we’re going to roll the dice and go for it. Max just refused to give up. You didn’t hear him moaning on the radio.

“Every lap, he drove his heart out, then suddenly a chance presented itself.

“When you look at his pass at Turn Five, I don’t think Lewis was expecting him to go through there. He didn’t even defend. He was waiting for him more into Turn Six, but Max took him by surprise. Classic Verstappen,” he concluded.

Read more: Which rules did Masi ignore in F1 season finale and did Horner influence him?

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