Horner dazzled by “inspiring” Verstappen

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Ian Parkes and Ewan Gale

The Red Bull team principal believes the way Max Verstappen coped with the pressure of fighting Lewis Hamilton for the F1 World Championship was “inspiring”.

Verstappen emerged victorious from his duel with the seven-time champion in the most dramatic way with a pass on the last lap of the final race in Abu Dhabi.

The pair had seen close battles throughout the season, including repeatedly touching, with pressure on both increasing as the campaign drew to a close.

Asked if the Dutchman has reached new heights, Horner replied: “We just gave him a better car and he put it to great use.

“He finished every race first or second except one where he was halfway missing his car in Budapest.

“The stats speak for themselves, the number of laps he has led, the pole positions, the race wins, he has been exceptional, and so few mistakes under enormous pressure.

“What you forget is the amount of pressure that has built up and created throughout this championship, and the way he handled and handled that as a young man has been inspirational. “

On the key moments that defined Verstappen’s debut title, Horner said: “There were some great moments.

“It was important to get those wins, the series of results, and then there were times like Azerbaijan that we had to come back to.

“It was important to come back strong, and Max did it, then Silverstone was a pivotal moment, and again how he came back from it.

“For me in the latter part of the championship, especially in Austin, where we were definitely the underdogs that day, he had a really exceptional victory.”


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