Horner says Verstappen has taken ‘another step’ since title win

Formula 1: Horner says Verstappen has taken ‘another step’ since title win – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said Max Verstappen on Monday…

Formula 1: Horner says Verstappen has taken ‘another step’ since title win- Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said on Monday that Max Verstappen had taken “another step” since winning the world title last season following his remarkable triumph at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday. Follow Formula 1 updates live on InsideSport.IN

The 24-year-old Dutchman’s exceptional drive from 14th on the grid, after picking up a new engine penalty, to a lavish victory ahead of second-started team-mate Sergio Perez was hailed by all corners of the paddock. .

Belgian F1 GP: Max Verstappen EXTENDS world championship lead by winning Belgian GP, ​​Lewis Hamilton crashes on lap 1

Formula 1: Christian Horner says Verstappen has taken ‘another step’ since title win

Horner praised Verstappen who took a 93-point lead over Perez in the Drivers’ Championship, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc third, five points clearer.

“You witness a driver who becomes one with the car and is in an absolute purple zone of his career,” he said.

“Since winning this championship last year, Max has taken another step. It has liberated him in many ways and he is now driving at an incredible level.

“Max was just in a league of his own and not just in the race, but all weekend.”

Horner said Verstappen’s victory was one of Red Bull’s ‘best’ performances, while special adviser Helmut Marko said they only needed “two or three” more wins to secure the title.

“The objective for us is now clear because we want to finish first and second in the championship for the first time in our history”, Marco said.

“And we need to win two or three more to make sure we’re safe.”

Both men also jokingly thanked Mercedes for pushing for the new technical directive introduced to control porpoises and rebounds which has seen Red Bull increase their dominance over rivals.

“On the face of it, I should thank Toto (Wolff, Mercedes team principal) for the TD (technical directive)… But, seriously, I think this circuit worked to our advantage. Horner joked.

“Maybe it hurts others more than ourselves, so we haven’t changed the way our car works.”

Formula 1: Christian Horner says Verstappen has taken ‘another step’ since title win

Horner underscored Verstappen’s maturity in the chaos of the first lap, when Lewis Hamilton retired after colliding with Fernando Alonso’s Alpine in one of two crashes, to lay the groundwork for a stunning victory.

“Incredible performance from Max,” said Horner. “He wasn’t greedy at the start, he was very patient, especially at Eau Rouge, and he simply made his way.

“He made his way safely across the field.”

Verstappen explained that his ambition in the first round was simply to survive. However, he gained six places.

“The first round? The thing is, I knew that with the car we had, you don’t want to risk too much. he said. “So it’s even harder to stay out of trouble.

“And people were going into the gravel, coming back onto the track, and they were defending their place. I was literally trying to stay out of it, but you don’t want to waste too much time either…

“It was super bumpy and there was also a lot of dirt. I took my tear off because I could hardly see anything because everyone was just going on grass, on gravel, but we survived without shame.

It was more than Verstappen’s survival.

His drive, landslide victory and lead in the title race reduced the next eight races to a likely display of Red Bull’s proven superiority en route to ending Mercedes’ streak of eight consecutive constructors’ titles.

Arriving in Zandvoort this week for Verstappen’s home event, Red Bull lead with 10 wins and 475 points to Ferrari’s four and 357, with Mercedes third with zero and 316. A festival is expected in the Dutch sand dunes on Sunday.

Formula 1: Christian Horner says Verstappen has taken ‘another step’ since title win

Follow Formula 1 updates live on InsideSport.IN

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