Horner: Verstappen so dominant he got "bored"

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says he had to "slow down" Max Verstappen during the Mexican Grand Prix, which he won so dominantly he got "bored" and started worrying about a fastest lap bonus.

Horner: Verstappen so dominant he got "bored"
Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Podium: race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, second place Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1, third place Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 leads

Verstappen snatched the lead from pole position man Sebastian Vettel around the outside of Turn 1 after the start, and then proceeded to pull clear without any major threat from behind.

In fact, Verstappen's biggest concern was a potential reliability problem – with engine supplier Renault on the edge with cooling because of the high altitude.

Horner said that with the team winding the engine down, and ordering Verstappen to back off to save his tyres, frustrations were starting to come out.

"The big challenge in this race was to slow him down, not speed him up - which was very unusual," said Horner.

"I think he got a bit bored out there at times. We kept trying to slow him down and he was getting a bit frustrated that he couldn't go any slower.

"He loves wheel to wheel racing. What he did in the first two turns, you could see after qualifying that he turned up at the race track and he wanted to win this race more than any other driver out there."

At one point, Verstappen began talking to his team over the radio about setting the fastest lap of the race, something that Vettel often did when he raced there.

Reflecting on the situation, Horner reckoned that the potential for an extra bonus provided some motivation at that time – even though the team did not want Verstappen to push his car too hard.

"We have a minor bonus system regarding fastest lap which I am thinking of eradicating," smiled Horner, about the moment Verstappen set fastest lap before Vettel later pipped him.

"I instructed his engineer that under no circumstances tell him that Seb Vettel had relieved him of a few Euros.

"But then the danger for him is he is looking at the screens around the track and he can see it for himself anyway. The important thing was bringing the car home, which is what he did."

 

shares
comments
Mexican GP: Issue #21 of GP Gazette now online
Previous article

Mexican GP: Issue #21 of GP Gazette now online

Next article

Hamilton says fourth title was toughest to win

Hamilton says fourth title was toughest to win
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022