Horner rubs salt into Mercedes’ wounds by offering reward to Latifi for championship-defining crash

Christian Horner thanked Nicholas Latifi for crashing at Abu Dhabi and handing the title to Max Verstappen.

Latifi’s crash was the crucial turning point of a race that was out of Red Bull’s hands until the last lap. The Williams driver hit the wall after a tussle with Haas driver Mick Schumacher, and brought out the yellow flags.

The comedy of errors that unfolded afterwards led to Verstappen overtaking his championship rival on the last lap to win the championship on the last day. A little earlier, the Red Bull team principal had said that his driver needed a “miracle” to win, and he got it thanks to ‘Goatifi’.

Horner thanked Latifi for crashing at Abu Dhabi, and jokingly promised him a reward for his contributions.

“He’ll be getting a lifetime supply of Red Bull for sure,” Horner joked on Channel 4, as quoted by the Evening Standard.

Christian Horner defends stewards over Abu Dhabi GP Safety Car controversy
Horner (left) and Verstappen (right) celebrate the latter’s title. Source: planetf1.com

The 48-year-old compared Latifi’s crash and its impact to Vitaly Petrov’s infamous defence against Fernando Alonso at Yas Marina. That led to Sebastian Vettel winning the 2010 Drivers’ Championship, coincidentally for Red Bull as well.

“We needed something from the racing gods in the last 10 laps,” he added.

“Thank you Nicholas Latifi for that safety car. I have to say with the stewards… they did great to get the race going again.”

Campeone, campeone

Verstappen clinched his maiden world championship in dramatic and controversial fashion. He won it by an eight-point margin, having come into Abu Dhabi level on points with Lewis Hamilton.

The Dutchman looked to have been a shoo-in for a distant second, until a magical slice of luck and an absolute gift from the authorities helped him win.

Read more: Horner reflects on incredible title campaign – “Would have bitten an arm off for that”

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