Max Verstappen F1 critics 99% unjustified - Christian Horner

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner feels the criticism aimed at Max Verstappen this season has been "99%" unjustified

Max Verstappen F1 critics 99% unjustified - Christian Horner

Verstappen has found himself in the firing line on occasion this season for his aggressive driving, particularly when defending positions in battle.

Even FIA race director Charlie Whiting suggested Verstappen risked getting "a bad name" unless he tempered his ways, having met with the 18-year-old at Monza following his controversial scrap with Kimi Raikkonen in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Asked whether there was a need to protect Verstappen from the criticism, Horner told Autosport: "It depends on whether it's merited or not, and 99% of it hasn't been.

"So therefore you ignore it and you get on with your job.

"The only reason he's generating interest is because of the way he is performing.

"He is a young guy and he's going to make the odd mistake, but he learns very quickly.

"It's all part of his development, part of his learning process.

"We've seen it time and time again when exceptionally-talented drivers start to emerge whilst they are establishing themselves there is always criticism.

"We've seen it with Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Ayrton Senna. You can see it through history."

Horner is impressed with the way Verstappen has handled the comments and the pressure that appears to be following him around this year.

"He is remarkably measured and grounded for a guy of his age," added Horner.

"He is 18 years old, which is often easy to forget, and is already in his third year of motorsport [car racing] after a long and illustrious karting career.

"What he has achieved is quite staggering in quite a short space of time.

"He's got this huge momentum that is building, and he continues to surprise us.

"As his confidence, with experience, continues to grow then I'm pleased he's in our team and not in any other."

shares
comments
Malaysian Grand Prix F1 venue Sepang features nine changed corners

Previous article

Malaysian Grand Prix F1 venue Sepang features nine changed corners

Next article

Does Honda need a second team?

Does Honda need a second team?
Load comments
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021