Horner slams “not very clever” Magnussen for “destroying” Perez and Hulkenberg’s races at F1 Monaco GP

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Red Bull Racing team principal and CEO Christian Horner was left unimpressed by Kevin Magnussen’s driving at the start of the 2024 Monaco GP, which caused an accident that wiped out not only Sergio Perez’s Red Bull, but also the Dane’s Haas team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Magnussen had a better run than Perez exiting Saint Devote, and kept his front wing alongside Perez’s rear axle as they climbed up towards Beau Rivage – but with the track narrowing, the pair met in the middle and collided, with the Mexican being sent spinning across the barriers in a spectacular and horrifying accident, that ultimately ended in him also collecting the other Haas of Hulkenberg in the process. The stewards decided it was a racing incident and deemed no investigation was necessary.

Speaking to media after the race in Monte Carlo, Horner revealed he was “surprised” the stewards didn’t want to take the matter further, given the sheer magnitude of the accident and its aftermath, which totally wrecked Perez’s Red Bull and severely damaged the guard rails, requiring a long red flag period.

“Well, I was surprised it wasn’t investigated because it was quite a hefty incident. Kevin [Magnussen] had a wheel up the inside in a part of the track that only ever narrows, and you would have expected him to back out.

“And not only has he destroyed Checo’s race and the car, he’s also destroyed his team-mate’s race. So, not very clever.”

The Red Bull team boss also praised the safety systems like the survival cell and the halo for keeping all the drivers safe in what was a “horrible” accident that saw Perez’s car totally wiped out and ending on top of Hulkenberg’s Haas:

“It was a horrible looking accident. And, of course, your heart is in your mouth at that point, and it immediately focuses on the safety of the driver.

“And, thankfully, cars can be fixed. But the structure and the halo and everything did its job. So that’s the most important thing, that Checo was able to walk away from what looked like a very nasty incident unscathed.”

Inevitably after the safety concerns were addressed, Horner couldn’t hide his frustration with the huge damage suffered by one of his cars, which not only will bring a heavy repair job for the team’s mechanics ahead of the race in Canada in a fortnight’s time, it also brings extra spending, which in a cost cap era can make the difference between developing the car more and spending on manufacturing:

“I don’t know on the engine and chassis, but obviously a significant accident. So it’s a costly one, very costly.”

When asked about Perez’s recent drop in form which saw the Mexican last finish on the podium on the Chinese GP in late April, and two Q1 eliminations in Imola and Monaco, Horner admitted it was another “brutal” weekend for the driver who won the Monaco race in 2022, but is confident the Mexican can regain his early season form at a time when competition is stronger than ever in the form of McLaren and Ferrari:

“This weekend’s been pretty brutal for him,” Horner stated. “Obviously we need to make sure that we’ve got both cars up there scoring points because we cannot dismiss the threat of Ferrari and McLaren in both championships.

“Checo’s first six races [were] very strong. He was qualifying on the front row and finishing second and third and scoring very well. “We just need to get him back into that position of confidence and not to see a dip.”