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Redress Or Legal Action: Red Bull Owner’s Speak On Max Verstappen Title Being ‘Tarnished’ By Lewis Hamilton Drama



MAX VERSTAPPEN won his F1 first drivers’ title in 2021 in controversial circumstances after a topsy-turvy campaign. Red Bull’s owner has absolutely no concerns over the way Max Verstappen clinched the team’s first F1 drivers’ championship trophy in eight years. That’s according to team principal Christian Horner, who has dismissed speculation that Dietrich Mateschitz might be irritated by the controversy which came with the success.Verstappen’s maiden world title will mean the world to him, even if it came as a result of a season finale which will go down in infamy.



After all, the Dutchman most likely would not have had the chance to get over the line first had it not been for a late safety car at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Even then, in Mercedes’ opinion, race leader Lewis Hamilton should have completed the race at the front and under safety car conditions. But race director Michael Masi, keen for the championship to be decided without the yellow flags flying, fast-tracked the safety car process and resumed racing for the final lap. Verstappen, who had new soft tyres and had been allowed to close right up to Hamilton, had little trouble in getting around the seven-time world champion and winning both the race and the title.



Mercedes filed two official protests, but those were waved away by stewards at the time who cited part of the sporting regulations which gives the race director the power to deploy and withdraw the safety car as he sees fit. The Silver Arrows then said it would officially appeal, but later dropped those threats after the FIA promised an investigation and that changes would be made.

As it stands, that probe is still ongoing and Masi, despite calls for him to be replaced, remains in his role.
There is still plenty of ill-feeling even now, more than six weeks on, as many fans feel Hamilton was unfairly denied an eighth world title.



The Briton is said to be considering his future in F1 as a result, with team boss Toto Wolff admitting both he and his star driver are “disillusioned” by how the 2021 title was decided.
While Mercedes apparently remain furious about what happened, it appears the Red Bull hierarchy has no issue with the circumstances surrounding their first drivers’ title win since 2013.

Accordingto team principal Horner, owner Mateschitz is not worried about the furore which has been caused by the events of that final race in Abu Dhabi. When asked by if Mateschitz was in any way upset by the prospect of the championship being “tarnished” by what happened, Horner replied: “No.”



He continued: “I think there’s been so much controversy throughout the year, [and] I think there’s been so much bad luck that we’ve had during the season that these things tend to balance themselves out.

“He felt Max was very deserving. He was very proud of what he’d done and what the team had achieved.”
Verstappen will once again be leading the charge for Red Bull in the 2022 season, joined for a second season by Sergio Perez.

He will be hoping to once again be provided with a competitive car to defend his title, but that is no guarantee considering the new technical rules coming into force this year.



Teams will have no real idea of how competitive they will be until they begin testing towards the end of February.
Meanwhile, this week is a big one in terms of the development of the Red Bull car, as the physical build gets under way at the team’s Milton Keynes base.

“This is that time of year where everything’s a bit tight; it’s lots of long hours and takeaways!” Horner said last week. “There’s a lot of hard work going into RB18 [and] it’s taking shape. It’s hitting the majority of its targets so far. “The team are working incredibly hard, and it’s really coming together. It goes into car build next week, so that’s exciting!”


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