Red Bull team boss has noticed that Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton share one very rare and important quality as racers with each other.
Christian Horner has come to the conclusion that Max Verstappen has a very specific quality in his racing which a very select few other drivers possess. The most notable driver on the grid who shares this quality with the Dutchman is the seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton.
The British team principal cannot help but admire the fact that Verstappen can be aware of everything going on around him while simultaneously going ‘flat-out’ in terms of speed.
Horner first noticed this skill on display by the Dutchman at the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix late last year. The team boss admitted that he saw a similar instinct in four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel during his Red Bull days.
“I have no doubt [Verstappen is] the best we have seen on one of our cars, in terms of outright raw ability and commitment,” Horner told The Times.
“He’s the best driver we’ve seen. Sebastian was also incredibly good, but we gave him a better car.”
The remarkable final lap in Abu Dhabi… 🧨
— Tipstyr (@Tipstyr) January 7, 2022
“The stand-out moments for me come when you turn up somewhere like Jeddah. Nobody has seen the circuit before. Max goes out and is two and a half seconds clear of anybody else. It takes half an hour for anyone to get close to his time.”
“He’s got a fundamental, natural ability which means he’s driving with less effort at the limit than other drivers. He’s not under stress himself. He can be driving flat out but still has the ability to process what is going on in the race, with the car, with his opponents.”
“Very rarely you see drivers with that. Lewis has that. Max has that. Sebastian, when he was winning those world championships, had that.”
Max Verstappen is a champion off the track as well
Horner admitted that there is one more quality about Max that he shares with the greats of the sport.
“What Max also has, that I haven’t seen in many drivers other than when I was growing up watching Nigel Mansell, is a massive heart,” said Horner.
“He drives with his heart. He gives it absolutely everything.”
— J (@kingJibz98) October 24, 2021
Despite what has been his most successful season in F1 so far, Horner is pleased that it hasn’t changed the way he carries himself.
“After a race, he just wants to get back on his FIFA game with his mates. He hasn’t become some kind of diva. Money has obviously become a factor in his life but he still has the same principles.”