“If Anybody Can Do It, Max Verstappen Can”: Christian Horner Confident 2x Champion Will Replicate Lewis Hamilton’s Brazil GP Performance

Tejas Venkatesh
|Published 18/03/2023

After showing great pace throughout the weekend Max Verstappen had a difficult exit in Q2 of the Saudi Arabian GP. The Dutchman was forced to retire in the second session after a transmission issue on his RB19.

He radioed his engineers denoting an engine problem in the car as he rolled into the pitlane. Max was forced to retire as the Red Bull crew couldn’t fix his car in the limited time.

He will start P15 despite looking threatening enough to claim another race win. But Red Bull team Principal Christian Horner still believes there is a fighting chance for the 2-time World Champion.


Also Read: What Happened With Max Verstappen Today: Why Did Red Bull Star Retire From Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying?

Horner explains what caused Max Verstappen to retire from Qualifying

After attempting to set a flying lap in his first Q2 run, Max Verstappen was seen stuck in his 3rd gear. The Dutchman went over one of the kerbs and was unable to move ahead.

Turns out the driveshaft of the RB19 failed. And this cannot be fixed in a matter of minutes even for the speedy Red Bull Pit crew. So the team ordered the 2x World Champion to retire from the session.

Team Principal Christain Horner said after the race. “The right driveshaft had failed. So we need to get an understanding of what caused that issue. It is not something that we have seen any sign of this weekend.”


Max wouldn’t be happy with the result. The Dutchman topped the timesheets across all sessions over the weekend despite recovering from a stomach bug. But he is ready to give his best on Sunday

However, he can replicate arch-rival Lewis Hamilton’s feat from the 2021 Brazilian GP. Lewis was disqualified for an illegal DRS slot and was dropped to P20 ahead of the Sprint race.

The Briton managed to make up 15 places in the Saturday Sprint race but took another 5-place drop after taking another ICE. He would go on to win the Brazilian GP after starting P10 and battling Verstappen valiantly. A classic tale Max can take inspiration from!

Also Read: Max Verstappen Reveals the Only Thing That Would Have Stopped Him From Taking Part in Saudi Arabian GP

Christian Horner still optimistic about Verstappen’s chances

Right before the race both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez had replaced their gearboxes. The Red Bull duo used 2 of the allocated 3 gearboxes on both cars early on in the season.

This raised suspicions about a mechanical issue present in the dominant RB19.  But Horner denied any such issues claiming the change was just to have rolling parts in the inventory.

Horner said, “That was just scheduled to have two in the pool. There was nothing that warranted a change. Now we are looking into what the cause of the problem was and trying to make sure it gets addressed.”


While Horner would be a happy boss after Perez secured the pole position in Verstappen’s absence. He is still optimistic that the 35 GP winner can turn things around on Sunday.

The Red Bull boss added, “His pace was insane throughout the weekend in P1, P2 and P3 and even in Qualifying. So we have given him a harder job to do. But if anybody can do it, Max can.”

The Dutchman will start P14, not far from 2022 title rival Charles Leclerc. Leclerc finished P2 in the Qualifying round but will take a 10-place Grid Penalty after fitting a third electronics control unit.

Also Read: Lewis Hamilton Argues Even Red Bull’s Top-Notch Aero Design Can’t Rescue ‘Deep-Watered’ Mercedes

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About the author
Tejas Venkatesh

Tejas Venkatesh

Tejas Venkatesh is a Motorsports writer at The SportsRush. He started watching F1 in 2007 and fell in love with the sound of the revving V8s. A technical nerd, tejas loves to nerd over the technical beauty only motorsports can achieve. He calls himself a Vettel fanboy and spent the night crying after Hockenheim 2018. Apart from F1, Tejas is an avid Chelsea Fan and loves football.

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