Christian Horner has called out Lewis Hamilton before the Russian GP.
The Russian GP, and a wet one at that, will take place on Sunday, and it is coming on the heels of extensive F1 drama. Two weeks have passed since the Hamilton-Verstappen crash at Monza.
Red Bull Team Principal Horner called out Hamilton, and gave his thoughts on him trying to get into the head of his driver, Max Verstappen.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Horner said, “We all know that Lewis likes to play what he perceives as mind games.
“It’s water off the duck’s back for Max. I think he’s just really enjoying being a contender this year. We’ve got nothing to lose, we’re just going for it. I think the pressure is not on the challenger; it’s more on the vendor.”
F1 has always seen mind games and rivalries, and this season is no different. However, the extra layer in this case is the lack of clean racing, with Hamilton and Verstappen crashing twice and touching on quite a few occasions. There has hardly been proper and clean racing, a la Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at the Hungaroring.
Hamilton is the defending champion, and is gunning for title number eight, an achievement that would see him leapfrog the great Michael Schumacher for most world titles won. Verstappen, meanwhile, is charging for his maiden championship.
Horner praised Verstappen for his ability to deliver despite the weight of the world on his shoulders, saying, “When you see the pressure he was under with the home crowd in Zandvoort, you don’t get bigger pressure than that, and I think the way he handled that in particular was truly impressive.
“I think he’s just really enjoying and relishing this battle,” he concluded.