Christian Horner Calls Max Verstappen a "Racing Machine" After Victory at Imola

"It’s quite often he’s testing different set-ups in the evening and this kind of thing. So it’s not unusual for him to do that.."

by Sead Dedovic
Christian Horner Calls Max Verstappen a "Racing Machine" After Victory at Imola
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner is thrilled after Max Verstappen's tough victory at Imola. Although many expected Verstappen to have a tough time, especially since he wasn't particularly impressive in the last race, the Dutchman took matters into his own hands and secured his fifth victory of the season.

In a fierce race between him and Lando Norris, the 26-year-old emerged as the winner. 

Christian Horner faced interesting questions from reporters, primarily about whether Verstappen might be tired from his racing commitments and battles. Verstappen had to assist the Team Redline squad in the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring iRacing sim race. Horner believes that Verstappen doesn't have such problems, considering he's a racing machine. The Red Bull team principal is pleased with Verstappen's dedication, which resulted in victories in two races.

"No, because he’s basically a racing machine.

It’s quite often he’s testing different set-ups in the evening and this kind of thing. So it’s not unusual for him to do that.

He has won two races today [Sunday]. One in a BMW M3 and one in a Formula 1 car.”- Christian Horner said, as quoted by Crash.

Horner emphasized that Max had an extremely hectic weekend. He mentioned how Max had to push himself to the limit, especially considering his pole position yesterday and his amazing performance today, which Horner described as a masterclass.

Leaders of Red Bull have always had tremendous trust in the Dutchman, considering him the main weapon of their team. Verstappen has shown his gratitude to them through victories and brilliant performances. His intentions are clear: to continue performing at the same high level, with the aim of winning his fourth consecutive championship.

Verstappen faced challenges once again, and although many believe he had an easy task, the Dutchman encountered a multitude of issues, primarily regarding the tires, especially in the latter stages of the race. Christian Horner spoke about their tire choice, explaining their decision-making process.

“Probably with hindsight, we would have been better running a hard on Friday, just because we had opted to take two new hard tyres into the race and maybe it would have been better to have got the information on the tyre,” Horner said.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen© Lars Baron/Getty Images Sport

The Red Bull team principal reflected on the turnaround from Friday to Saturday, highlighting the moment when Verstappen secured pole position and the victory, demonstrating that he is currently the strongest driver in the F1 scene. Horner emphasized that Verstappen had to work hard for both the pole and victory, likely suggesting that he didn't have the ideal conditions for winning as he had before. 

The Dutchman impressed many, with F1 experts and pundits mentioning that in the last race, Verstappen had to showcase his talent, considering that his car wasn't as perfect as in many situations during this and previous seasons. Despite everything, the 26-year-old adapted, was motivated to achieve victory, and accomplished his goal.

Furthermore, Verstappen's capacity to overcome hurdles and achieve victory even in negative conditions speaks volumes about his resilience and driving skills. His relentless determination to dominate despite challenges keeps his status as one of the toughest competitors in Formula 1.

The Friday session wasn't ideal for either driver of this team, as they struggled to find the balance of the RB20 car. Christian Horner also decided to reveal what was crucial for their turnaround. An interesting name from the world of F1 played a crucial role in the whole story.

“Sebastien Buemi. We did a lot of work on set-up on Friday into Saturday to move the balance and get the balance into a much better window.

As I say, for 60 percent of the race we were anywhere between six and eight seconds clear of the rest. It was just the second half of the stint on the hard tyre, we started to give away performance.”

Christian Horner on Red Bull's success

Horner elaborated that the team's success was thanks to a collective effort, including contributions from the factory team and simulator drivers. He emphasized the importance of the team's ability to respond effectively when faced with challenges. Despite initial setbacks, they managed to turn things around and achieve victory, defying earlier expectations based on Friday's performance.

Red Bull is a team intent on dominating this season, just like in previous ones. There are many quality individuals within the team, which is why they have been so successful season after season. It's expected that they will win the championship again this year, but let's wait and see. Things might appear considerably tougher than last year.

We have an interesting remainder of the season ahead, with many teams in the race for the top.

Christian Horner Max Verstappen