Christian Horner responds to Max Verstappen’s ‘kangaroo’ complaint

Michelle Foster
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on track ahead of an Alfa Romeo.

Max Verstappen jumped his way to pole position in Brazil.

Max Verstappen’s RB19 may have been jumping around like a kangaroo during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, but at least it was a “fast kangaroo” says Christian Horner.

Putting in the laps during Friday’s qualifying at the Interlagos circuit, Verstappen wasn’t happy with the handling of his Red Bull RB19.

“My car is jumping around like a kangaroo just like in Mexico,” he complained over the radio.

Max Verstappen jumped his way to pole position

It, however, did little to dampen his speed with the 26-year-old putting in a 1:10.727 to take pole position by three-tenths of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Asked about the jumping in the post-qualifying press conference, the World Champ explained: “It was a bit difficult over the bumps. I don’t know why that was the case, because we didn’t really touch the car.

“And so we need to understand that because, yeah, on the bumps, it was not very comfortable. But yeah, we tried to work our way around it.”

As his team boss Horner put it, it may have been a kangaroo but it was a “fast” one.

“Fortunately a very fast kangaroo!” he said laughing. “He kept losing some time when braking for Turn 1 and with little fuel on board he wasn’t really happy with the feeling.

“They adjusted some things with the brake balance and after that, I think it was better.”

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Verstappen clinched pole position in what was effectively a one-lap shoot-out as a storm hit the circuit midway through Q3 and brought out the red flags.

While the timing worked well for the triple World Champion, the same cannot be said of his teammate Sergio Perez who didn’t have a good first lap and finished down in ninth place.

“We expected the rain to fall during qualifying, but not that it would be so heavy,” Horner told Viaplay. “It was good to immediately record that lap [with Max].

“Checo was unfortunate because of the yellow flag. That’s part of it, unfortunately.”

Horner is expecting a close fight come Sunday’s Grand Prix with the current forecasts saying it should be a dry race.

“The racing is always quite close here, so we can’t take anything for granted,” the Briton concluded. “In any case, I hope the weather will be better than this on Sunday, otherwise we better start racing with boats…”

Read next: Winners and losers from the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying