Christian Horner Lauds Max Verstappen’s Pivotal Role in Red Bull’s Recent F1 Triumphs

Max Verstappen has been praised by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner for “making a key difference” for Red Bull in recent Formula One races.

In the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, Verstappen managed to hold off Lando Norris of McLaren to win the race back-to-back and extend his lead in the Formula One World Championship.

Verstappen holds off Norris to win Spanish GP | Jefferson City News Tribune

Although it was the current world champion’s seventh victory in ten races, Red Bull has recently been under increased pressure from rivals McLaren, Ferrari, and Mercedes.

“I believe there were a few pivotal moments today,” Horner remarked. “We knew it would be quite close with Lando; obviously, we missed the pole by two hundredths yesterday.

“The start was important; we decided to utilize the scrubbed start instead of the fresh tire because we wanted the new tire in case we needed it later for the undercut.

“Max got off to a strong start, passing Lando and engaging in some quite aggressive racing until he reached turn 1, which gave George the opportunity to find his breaking point and run around the outside. The race would thereafter inevitably revolve around tire wear, thus overtaking George quickly was essential.

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We decided to go for an optimal race in terms of strategy in our stop laps at that point. McLaren obviously extended, so they had an offset. “He pushed hard on that first lap or two to get the pass on George, then immediately got into managing tyres and was able to build out a gap reasonably comfortably in that first stint.”

“After observing the space, you conclude that nine seconds is rather acceptable, but you are aware of the tyre offset. The gaps reappear quite rapidly; six laps on mediums and three or four on the soft.

“Today was all about avoiding making any mistakes; Max ran a flawless race and made his pit stops with precision. Thus, it’s all those little things that we knew Lando would chase after us at the finish line, but we assumed we would have enough at that point, and that’s how it actually happened.

Horner continued by emphasizing how important Verstappen’s extremely consistent performances have been during a period in which Red Bull hasn’t always had the fastest vehicle overall.

Lando Norris rues costly bad start as Max Verstappen wins Spanish Grand Prix

Horner continued, “He’s always been fantastic under pressure; this year is more normal than last year, which was a unicorn year.”

“We have to fight extremely hard for them because it’s not normal to win every race every time, and Max is really helping.”

We’re learning more about our strengths and limitations, we know where we need to improve, and we’re doing enough right now to maintain our lead in the championship.