Christian Horner Exclusive: The Red Bull boss on Max Verstappen vs. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Sports

Red Bull boss Christian Horner admits he understands why Lewis Hamilton fans are ‘sad’ over last year’s title winner Abu Dhabi, but believes Max Verstappen ultimately deserves the championship.

In an exclusive interview from his home with Martin Brandle of Sky Sports F1, Horner, his team boss at Red Bull, who has won his titles in nine F1 worlds, explained his management of his style and his journey to competition. Talk about various topics, up to. End of 2021 with Mercedes. intense.

Verstappen and Hamilton reached the final race level in points after a spectacular campaign, but on the final lap Abu Dhabi was embroiled in controversy after the Netherlands overtook the seven-time champion who dominated the race.

It was later confirmed that racing director Michael Masi had misapplied the car’s safety rules, but ‘human error’ was considered a factor. Masi has now left the FIA, F1’s governing body, on the rise.

Horner said he understands why Hamilton’s fans find it difficult to do so, but looking at the season as a whole, he believes Verstappen deserved a first crown, and Verstappen’s loss at Silverstone, where he fell after contact with Hamilton. hints of bad luck. , was punished but won the race.

“That’s where sport is always polarized. Last year he had 22 races, not just Abu Dhabi.

“Do you think Max deserves the title? Of course. You shouldn’t get too carried away.”

Verstappen is on course for his second championship of the year, with an 80-point lead over the summer break, but Hamilton, much slower than expected for Mercedes, remains sixth in the standings. .

Last year’s rivalry also slipped, with Horner and his Mercedes partner Toto Wolff receiving frequent media scorn throughout the season.

“This is not personal!

“Toto is Toto. He did a phenomenal job at Mercedes. Obviously he came into the sport from a very different background than mine. He has an economic background.

“And watering it is very easy. And you can see it. It can be affected. Of course when you compete and last year it was very intense and of course he was. It’s the first time I’ve done that… It’s always interesting to see. how people react in such situations.

“You know you have them when their headphones break or whatever.”

Asked if he thought he was a better crew chief than Wolfe, Horner said: “It’s not up to me to judge…

“I focus on what I do. You are the judge, you are the judge. Sometimes Sky judges me, but it doesn’t matter to me… I focus on what I do.” and he concentrates on what he is doing.

Horner also explains how public perception of him or his style does not affect him.

“If it bothers you, you shouldn’t be doing the work,” he told Brundle.

“When you look at someone like Sir Alex Ferguson, you wonder if he ever cared about the perception that coaches and others have of him in sport.