Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step
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Christian Horner has shot down Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of securing an eighth world title as he hinted that Max Verstappen was unbeatable. Horner claimed he was “not sure anybody” could beat the Dutchman in the same equipment or repeat his record-breaking stats.
Verstappen secured his 15th race victory of the season to put him two clear of the previous win record of 13 set by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. Meanwhile, Hamilton has been unable to fight at the sharp end this year as Mercedes continue to struggle with their package.
According to RacingNews365, Horner said: “I think Max is operating at a level that I’m not sure anybody – with the way he’s driving at the moment – in the same equipment would be able to repeat what he’s done this year.” The reigning champion breezed past his team-mate Sergio Perez who only picked up two wins all campaign.
The 25-year-old has also got the better of previous team-mates which have forced two out of the job since his arrival.
Pierre Gasly was demoted back to the junior team in 2019 while Alex Albon was dropped for Perez for 2021. Horner’s praise comes after Sebastian Vettel’s former race engineer, Guillaume Rocquelin criticised Verstappen’s skills.
He suggested the youngster was “weak technically” and not yet the complete package. The Frenchman added: “I’ll be honest, Max is weak technically compared to other drivers we’ve worked with. I think he still has a lot of progress to make.”
Red Bull claimed the comments were “misquoted” while chief engineer Paul Monaghan revealed the extent of Verstappen’s talents.
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He explained: “Max is technically extremely gifted. He did a lot of work as a youngster, often guided by his father, and you can see the legacy of that. He knows what he is talking about when he is in the car, he knows what he wants and with his engineers.”
Verstappen is Red Bull’s most successful driver since Vettel and is closing in on another of the German’s records. The win in Abu Dhabi was Verstappen’s 35th for the team putting him just three away from Vettel’s 38 victories at the team.
Earlier this season, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko also suggested Verstappen could not be beaten. The Austrian commented: ”At some stage, you have to recognise there is someone who is special and it’s just not possible to beat him… They compare their car with his.
“Do I have the same material?’ They think ‘how can I overcome him?’ They can’t, so they try to change the set-up on the car or adapt their driving style. Of course, you can’t accept that you are simply not as good as him.”
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