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Horner: Verstappen so dominant he got "bored"

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Horner: Verstappen so dominant he got "bored"
By:
Oct 30, 2017, 9:27 AM

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.

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."

 

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