Horner: Verstappen Austrian GP penalty would've been incomprehensible

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says it would have been "incomprehensible" for the FIA to punish Max Verstappen for his Austrian Grand Prix clash with Charles Leclerc

Verstappen survived a steward's investigation at the Red Bull Ring to decide whether he had deliberately forced Charles Leclerc off track when he snatched the lead at Turn 3 on the penultimate lap, but that was ultimately ruled to have been a racing incident.

Horner, who was delighted by Red Bull's first victory with new engine partner Honda, said he thought a change of result was unthinkable.

Asked what Red Bull's reaction would have been had Verstappen been punished, Horner said: "It is not worth thinking of, because frankly they made the right decision.

"It is incomprehensible to think that they would have changed the podium after a race like that. "That was just the tonic that F1 needed for a fantastic race."

Two controversial penalties at the two previous grands prix - one in Canada for Sebastian Vettel, and another in last weekend's French Grand Prix for Daniel Ricciardo - meant the incident was always likely to be investigated.

But Horner said Red Bull never doubted that Verstappen had done anything wrong, and did not contemplate telling the Dutchman to give the place back.

"We were completely convinced that it was OK," he said.

"And then of course it goes to the stewards and then at that point you don't know.

"But I think Tom Kristensen and the stewards who are up there have made absolutely the right choice.

"One day it will go against us, but it was fair racing, it was hard racing and it is what F1 should be."

Horner reckoned the key factor in Verstappen being cleared was the fact he had got to the Turn 3 apex before Leclerc.

"If you look, he was ahead at the apex, and then at that point he has won the corner," he said.

"It is for the other guy to back out of it and try the undercut, otherwise at that point it is slam dunk and check mate he has got the corner.

"That is the way the stewards saw it."

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