Formula 1

Christian Horner frustrated after ‘brutal’ Mercedes crashes with engine penalties looming

Christian Horner believes it’s “very likely” Red Bull will pick up engine penalties this season, through no fault of their own, as they may need to use more than the allowed three units per year.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have both tangled with Mercedes drivers over the past two races, with Verstappen unlucky enough to have incurred damage on both occasions.

The Dutchman picked up huge damage after a collision with Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix, and found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time on the opening lap in Budapest, with Valtteri Bottas slamming into the back of McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Norris then hit Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who picked up major damage to his barge board – with Bottas then sliding into Perez, causing his retirement.

Perez was forced out of the race, and despite limping his Red Bull home, Verstappen could only collect two points for the team, however, it did give Bottas’ team-mate the chance to take a haul of points home to retake the lead of the standings.

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Asked about the chances of Red Bull getting to the end of the season without an engine penalty, team principal Horner replied: “Very little I’m afraid, and that is hugely frustrating for Honda as it’s not due to reliability; it’s due to accidents that we haven’t caused so they are feeling the brunt of this as we are on the chassis-side and it’s not to be underestimated on the cost cap side.

“It does need to be looked at because in a cost cap environment, it’s brutal the incidents we’ve had in the last couple of weeks.

“It’s lost all of its water immediately,” he added, talking about Perez’s engine. “So, you know, we’ll have to look into more detail but the initial reports are it will no longer be in service,” he added.

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