Horner surprised Russell wasn’t kept “as a rear gunner for Lewis”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Christian Horner says he was “quite surprised” by Mercedes’ strategy calls at the Dutch Grand Prix, and adds his “biggest concern was it would be two against one”.

Lewis Hamilton was catching Max Verstappen at the Dutch Grand Prix, before the Safety Car came out. Verstappen then pitted for fresh soft tyres, while Mercedes decided to leave Lewis on the track on older mediums, hoping that he will be able to keep P1 in the final laps of the race.

However, the team did pit George Russell for fresh softs, and ultimately Lewis got overtaken by Verstappen, Russell and Leclerc, finishing the race in P4.

The Briton was obviously not happy and expressed his frustration to the team over the radio.

“I can’t believe you guys f**** me, can’t tell you how *** I am,” Lewis said, but after the race he apologized.

While Toto Wolff explained Mercedes’ decisions for keeping Lewis on the track, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he was “quite surprised” by the decision.


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“You’ve got your home driver, leading in front of 105,000 people, and you decide to pit him for the soft tyres and concede track position behind two Mercedes,” Horner said.

“I was quite surprised that they didn’t leave George out strategically as a rear gunner for Lewis. When he pitted, it gave a straight fight between Max and Lewis with a tyre offset.

“By the time they came past us on the pit wall, Max was already alongside, and thereafter, it was a matter of controlling the race.”

The Briton added his main concern was that Max would have to get past both Mercedes.

“My biggest concern was it would be two against one, but when George seemed to pit himself, that then freed up a one-on-one fight with Max versus Lewis,” Horner concluded.

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