‘Never that impressed’ – Christian Horner attacked for Max Verstappen comments
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has been scolded for dismissing Max Verstappen’s anger after a crucial pit stop at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The season-opening race proved to be a disaster for Red Bull as both cars were forced to retire before the end with similar issues.
But, prior to those problems, Red Bull had a very strong chance of not only having two cars on the podium, but helping Verstappen win the race. The Dutchman was keeping tabs on Charles Leclerc with the two locked in wheel-to-wheel racing midway through the Grand Prix.
Both times that Verstappen closed up to Leclerc came after the first two pit stops when Red Bull brought in the reigning F1 world champion earlier than his rival for the undercut. However, Leclerc had just enough on both occasions to hold off Verstappen despite the latter’s best efforts.
After it became clear that Verstappen would not be able to catch Leclerc, the Dutchman raged on team radio after being told to go “gently” on his outlap.
“Okay this is now two times I have taken it easy on the out lap and I could have easily been in front. I’m never, ever doing it again!” Verstappen shouted on team radio.
Horner has since defended Red Bull’s decision, insisting that, even if Verstappen was given the green light to push, Leclerc would still have got out in front.
“He felt that he could have done more, and I think that, combined with a slightly quicker stop than the Ferrari, had put us very very close to them,” Horner said. “But I think even if we’d have made the pass, I think their pace was such that they would have, with overtaking being a little bit easier now, they would have just overtaken.”
Former F1 driver Christijan Albers though has taken aim at Horner for not listening to his No 1 driver.
“I’m never that impressed with what Horner says,” Albers said on the De Telegraaf Formula 1 podcast. “He is not a technical man.
“Max is in the car and he feels it too, but that’s always easy to talk about afterwards. The team just wanted to keep going as long as possible.”
Red Bull will be hoping to put the issues from Bahrain behind them this weekend at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.