'Just resign': TV host fires up over 'crazy' F1 farce

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·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
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TV host and motorsport enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson has lashed F1 over heavy-handed penalties handed to Lando Norris and Sergio Perez during the Austrian GP. Pictures: Getty Images
TV host and motorsport enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson has lashed F1 over heavy-handed penalties handed to Lando Norris and Sergio Perez during the Austrian GP. Pictures: Getty Images

Formula One is facing a backlash of sorts after race stewards dished out a number of controversial penalties during last weekend's Austrian GP.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was unchallenged out front after starting from pole, but was largely unaware of the chaos unfolding behind him.

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First, McLaren's Lando Norris would cop a five-second penalty for pushing Red Bull's Sergio Perez at the first race restart.

That dropped him down to fourth after he'd qualified an excellent second.

Later in the race, Perez would find himself on the wrong end of the stewards' ire, penalised once for a similar incident with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

He would cop a similar penalty for a similar infringement several laps later - and while Ferrari were able to move up final order thanks to the aforementioned penalties, neither Red Bull nor McLaren were thrilled with the outcome.

In fact, they seemed to share the sentiments of former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, who took his displeasure with race stewards to Twitter.

“F1 stewards. You are ruining the sport. Please, just resign. Go home,” Clarkson posted.

Speaking after the race, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said none of the penalties handed to Norris and Perez would have stood if he had his way.

“I said in the commentary that I didn’t have a major problem with the Lando move," he said.

“It was racing; it was hard racing, it was wheel-to-wheel, so then to get a penalty for that … I guess they gave themselves no choice when he had the same with Charles.

“But that’s racing, otherwise you’re going to get drivers just chucking themselves off the circuit and claiming penalties, so it’s a bit disappointing.”

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Horner's counterpart at McLaren, Andrea Seidl, was equally perplexed.

He said Norris had been under control during the move, suggesting Perez should have been more cautious on the first lap after the race restart.

“To be honest, I don’t understand why he gets a penalty,” Seidl said. 

“That is for me racing, racing that we all want to see, and I don’t think that Lando did anything wrong.

“He was just going on his racing line, he didn’t do anything stupid and did some type bombing or whatever, he was always parallel to him or even slightly ahead of Checo, so honestly, I don’t understand.

“Every go kart driver knows that if you go there to the outside the first race lap, you will end up in the gravel.”

Max Verstappen wins third successive F1 grand prix

The Red Bull driver's fifth win of the season extended his lead over title rival - seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton - to 32 points after nine races.

Hamilton dropped from second to fourth late in the race after going too wide on turn 10 at Spielberg's Red Bull Ring circuit and rolling over a kerb, damaging one of his tyres.

His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas finished second ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris, who clinched the fourth podium of his career on the same track where he secured his first last year.

The ultra-consistent Norris is the only driver to have scored points in every race this season.

Norris' teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh.

Hamilton has not won since the Spanish Grand Prix two months ago, a dismal streak of five races for the defending champion.

Max Verstappen tightened his grip in the Formula 1 championship with his third successive race win at the Austrian GP overnight. (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Max Verstappen tightened his grip in the Formula 1 championship with his third successive race win at the Austrian GP overnight. (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

All of those victories have gone to Red Bull, with Sergio Perez taking the other.

But it was another crushing success for Verstappen at the Red Bull Ring - his team's home track - with an army of his orange-shirted fans cheering on his 15th career win in the 60-000-strong crowd.

He also won here last weekend at the Styrian GP.

"It is incredible for everyone to have delivered this," said Verstappen.

"Today has been amazing. It was insane to see all the fans and so much orange. It is great motivation for me, too."

Verstappen clinched his third straight pole on Saturday and got away cleanly again for another lights-to-flag win, the way Hamilton has so often done.

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