Max Verstappen has come under some serious pressure since the last few weeks, as several former drivers and pundits have called him out for his reckless driving. Things went over the line at the first ever Saudi Arabian GP, as the FIA had to step in and award Max Verstappen two separate penalties for two different incidents.
Going into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, both Lewis and Max Verstappen are level on points. It is a situation of winner takes it all in Abu Dhabi, as the Dutchman chases his first F1 title. Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal believes that Lewis Hamilton has used all things within his power to exert pressure on Verstappen in the latter stages of the season.
Christian Horner believes that Lewis Hamilton, a seven time champion has a huge following in the sport, and his words carry a lot of weight.
“Lewis is a seven-time World Champion. He’s the most successful driver of all time. He has a standing, obviously, within the sport. What he says carries a lot of weight. I think that he has used every tool available to him to put Max under pressure. You don’t become a seven-time World Champion by not being a competitor like he is,” said Horner.
A huge amount of pressure has been placed on Max: Christian Horner
Mercedes is one of the most popular brands in the world, and as a result, they have used the media to exert pressure on Max Verstappen. Horner added that Max Verstappen, aged 24, is still pretty young and the way he has been dealing with pressure is quite commendable.
“Backed up by the Mercedes media machine, a huge amount of pressure has been placed on Max. What you’ve got to remember with Max is he’s just a young lad. He’s a 24-year-old that drives with bravery, with passion, with skill, with determination. He’s just a guy living his dream, doing his job,” Horner added.
Max Verstappen has literally pushed the seven-time champion till the absolute limits, and has never been intimidated by Lewis Hamilton. Christian Horner applauds Verstappen’s fearlessness throughout the season, from Bahrain to the last race in Jeddah.
“He’s up against not only Lewis, but a huge machine in Mercedes-Benz. I think all credit to him [for] the way he’s handled that pressure this year and hasn’t been drawn into it, hasn’t been sucked into it,” Horner said.
“He’s just gone about his business and he hasn’t changed – from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia – his approach for how he goes racing,” he continued.