Horner sees "genuine respect" in F1 fight between Verstappen and Leclerc

Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner believes there is “genuine respect” between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc after spending much of their junior careers racing against each other.

Horner sees "genuine respect" in F1 fight between Verstappen and Leclerc

Verstappen and Leclerc have won two races each in the opening four rounds of the 2022 season, setting the tone for a potential championship battle that could rage on throughout the season.

The drivers have fought on-track on a number of occasions so far this year, most notably in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where their wheel-to-wheel tussles settled the battle for victory.

There have been no incidents between the two drivers, nor any moments that warranted the stewards’ involvement, marking a shift from the controversy-filled fight between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton towards the end of last season.

Horner shied away from saying if there was more respect in Verstappen’s current fight than with Hamilton, but felt the history the Red Bull driver had with Leclerc through his junior career had bred respect.

“I think they've grown up racing each other in karting and so on, and they know each other very well,” Horner said.

“They come from the same generation, and there is a genuine respect between the two of them.”

Asked if he expected the battle between Leclerc and Verstappen to swing back and forth all season, Horner said: “Ferrari have got a great car, they've got great drivers. They've been unlucky [at Imola].

“But for sure they're going to be super competitive in two weeks' time [in Miami]. And I think it'll be like that for the whole season.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen and Leclerc raced against each other through go-karting before Verstappen made the earlier graduation to single-seaters, moving into Formula 3 in 2014 before a shock promotion into F1 one year later. Leclerc would ultimately reach F1 in 2018 after winning the GP3 and Formula 2 titles.

Leclerc recalled at Imola that it had “always been very close” between him and Verstappen in the junior ranks, causing a rivalry to brew between them.

“In karting I remember it was either me or him, and that's why we hated each other at one point, because very often it didn't end in the best way possible,” Leclerc said.

“But it was good times. I think we just have very, two very different styles of driving. Sometimes one will win, sometimes the other might, but it's fun. I like it.”

Read Also:

Leclerc felt that both he and Verstappen had “matured a lot” since their karting days, having both achieved their dream to reaching F1.

“At that time, it was just a dream, everything looked impossible,” Leclerc said. “So it's great now to be fighting in Formula 1. And there's a lot of respect for each other. So yes, it has changed for sure.”

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren wary of F1 moving towards having B-teams structure
Previous article

McLaren wary of F1 moving towards having B-teams structure

Next article

F1 drivers encouraged by Miami GP track in simulator runs

F1 drivers encouraged by Miami GP track in simulator runs
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023