Horner hails Verstappen for providing Hamilton stiff test

Christian Horner has hailed Max Verstappen for his title run, saying that such a challenge has eluded Lewis Hamilton throughout his career.

There are six races to go for this epic season to end, and there is precious little to separate Verstappen and Hamilton. The title race is yet to be decided, and in all likelihood will go down to the last race in Abu Dhabi.

Such has been the intensity of the challenge from Verstappen towards defending champion Hamilton. Horner hailed Verstappen for his title run, and said that his driver is the hardest opponent he has had for a long time.

“I think, inevitably, there’s always going to be an evolution,” the Red Bull team principal told The Guardian.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the podium. Netherlands September 2021
Verstappen (right) and Hamilton (left) are contesting an epic battle this season. Source: planetf1.com

“Lewis has had an amazing career and he’s still in fantastic form. He’s still a titan of the sport. The fact that Max is able to go toe-to-toe with him is probably something Lewis hasn’t had throughout his career – certainly through the championship years.

“There’s nothing with this degree of intensity. There’s obviously a lot at stake for him as he’s going for a record-breaking eighth championship, Max is going for his first and he knows he’s got many more years to come.”

Sweet, sweet victory

Horner also highlighted how this rivalry is vastly different from Red Bull’s previous title battles with Ferrari and McLaren from 2010 to 2013.

“Compared to the championship years when we were competing with Ferrari and McLaren from 2010 to 2013, this has been very different,” he added.

“There is an awful lot more going on behind the scenes, constant campaigning of the FIA with all aspects of our car.

“You have to defend yourself if you come under attack as we have from the very beginning of the year – whether it was the concept of the aerodynamics with the FIA to pit stops to other aspects of the chassis, you name it,” he concluded.

Read more: Plooij gives insight into Red Bull-Mercedes politics – “Caused a b***hfight between Horner and Wolff”

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