Christian Horner responds to Mercedes star George Russell’s complaints about the FIA

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CHRISTIAN HORNER has hit back at George Russell’s criticism of the FIA by pointing to their willingness to adapt rules.

Lando Norris and George Russell get the Highway Code quiz wrong

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Christian Horner has hit back at Mercedes star George Russell after the Brit criticised the penalty he received at the Austrian Grand Prix. Russell was awarded a five-second penalty for colliding with the Red Bull of Sergio Perez on the opening lap, and acknowledged how difficult it is to be a steward before calling for ‘consistency’ where possible. 

Race stewarding came under fire at the end of last season following the dramatic and controversial championship finale in Abu Dhabi. Amid the fallout, the FIA ensured steps were taken to further clarify the rules of engagement and their own way of running races going forwards.

However, Red Bull chief Horner suggested there will be concerns surrounding most racing decisions and referenced changes made to the FIA’s infrastructure after the Abu Dhabi report was published. F1 has been shrouded in controversy since the race after the sport surged in popularity last year. 

“They have had big changes within their organisation in the last six months,” Horner said of the FIA when he spoke to GPFans. “It’s a work in progress. I’m sure they will sort it out.

READ MORE: Hamilton savaged in sarcastic comment as Mansell bigs up Russell

Christian Horner responds to Mercedes star George Russell's complaints about the FIA

Christian Horner has butted heads with George Russell over the FIA’s application of the rules (Image: GETTY)

“I think you will always want consistency [of decisions]. It’s the most important thing. It’s easy to underestimate the roles these guys do.

“Making sure they have the right support around them is vital.”

The FIA’s internal investigation proves they have made the effort to figure out how to improve the way they police races. Former FIA race director Michael Masi decided not to allow cars to unlap themselves before changing his mind with only the cars between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen allowed to go past.

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Christian Horner responds to Mercedes star George Russell's complaints about the FIA

George Russell was given a 5-second penalty for colliding with Sergio Perez in Hungary (Image: GETTY)

The infamous lapped cars debacle has now been ironed out in the regulations, and the governing body have tried to make the rules more watertight – which narrows the margins for race directors and stewards. This is a good thing for the F1 product, but in-race incidents will always possess an element of subjectivity. 

Red Bull star and reigning world champion Verstappen holds a 80-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship, while Ferrari trail the Milton Keynes-based team by 97 points in the Constructors’ Championship. The 22-race F1 2022 campaign continues with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 28 after the four-week summer break.

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