Red Bull boss Christian Horner insists Max Verstappen is ready to ‘stand shoulder to shoulder with Lewis Hamilton’
During his tenure, Horner passed up the opportunity to sign his compatriot Hamilton when he was desperate to join in 2012, keeping faith instead with Sebastian Vettel, the German who won the team’s four drivers’ titles between 2010 and 2013 before moving to his current home at Ferrari.
Now Horner has his latest star Nr. 1 Max Verstappen to manage. Would he trade in the gung-ho Dutchman to enlist the last few years of Hamilton’s brilliance? ‘No,’ said Horner. ‘Max is the future. He is 21 years of age and he is evolving. Both he and Lewis are phenomenal drivers. Lewis is one of the best of all time. Max has won grands prix but is yet to compete for a championship. ‘However in terms of all-round ability, race craft and speed, Max is capable of going shoulder to shoulder with Lewis.’
Verstappen is headstrong as well as extremely talented. His uncompromising style caused him to crash and spill points in the first half of last season – and he was involved in some post-race shoving with backmarker Esteban Ocon after they collided in Brazil. Horner said: ‘Max was top scorer behind Hamilton in the second half of last season, so that shows how well he was driving. Max was criticised in some quarters when he showed emotion after the race with Ocon. At least there was passion. People relate to that kind of emotion.
‘That is why he has such a big following. We don’t want vanilla characters. Lewis is a Marmite kind of guy. That is good.
- Source: Red Bull Racing
- Photocredit: Red Bull Content Pool
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