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Max Verstappen should not have been given a five-second penalty for his illegal overtake of Kimi Raikkonen at the US Grand Prix, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. Max has lost his third-place finish at the US Grand Prix after receiving a five-second time penalty.

Verstappen started the race 16th on the grid after an engine penalty but hacked his way through the field. And Red Bull moved with a two-stop strategy, the Dutchman was finishing the race on fresher super-soft tyres and overtook Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap to claim third, clearing the Finn with a late dive down the inside of Turn 17.

The stewards judged him to have gained an advantage by having all four wheels off the race-track and gave him a five-second penalty, relegating him to fourth.

The statement from the FIA on the penalty read: “The stewards examined video evidence and concluded that car 33 [Verstappen] did leave the track, with all four wheels clearly off the track by at least half a metre, and overtook car 7 [Raikkonen] in doing so.

“The driver did gain a lasting advantage.”

Red Bull boss Horner, who had watched Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo retire with an power-unit failure, was even more frustrated by the stewards’ decision.

“There’s been cars going off track all day today and no action at all, so I think it would be unbelievably harsh to give Max a penalty,” Horner told Sky Sports.

“It’s wrong. We’ll have a look at it, but for me it was fair, hard racing. I think that’s a bad judgement by the stewards to have made that call.

“He did it the hard way. We’ve seen cars off track all day today, all weekend, so to penalise him at this stage, that’s not right.”

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