Christian Horner joked that Red Bull almost did not need a strategist after Max Verstappen was able to give some race advice within the cockpit.
Despite driving at over 200mph, Verstappen was composed enough to suggest that Red Bull should pit team-mate Sergio Perez.
The idea was noted by his race engineer and Horner joked that perhaps a strategist within the team was not even needed.
Christian Horner’s ‘expensive’ strategist replacement
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
It is not the first time a driver has commented on another whilst in the middle of a race, earlier in the year Fernando Alonso praised team-mate Lance Stroll’s overtake but Verstappen offered a different kind of statement.
He suggested Red Bull pit Perez first and although he later revealed it was because he wanted to hit the 1,000 laps led mark for this season, it was testament to how at ease Verstappen is in the car.
“I think particularly Max this year, he’s just been outstanding the way he’s been on top of the car, the strategy, the tires,” Horner told media including PlanetF1.com. “We almost didn’t need the strategist today because he seems to be doing the strategy for both of the cars.
“But as the strategist he is considerably more expensive than she [Hannah Schmitz] is but his capacity within the car is quite outstanding.”
Abu Dhabi was the final race of a remarkable season but as to whether the Singapore Grand Prix, which Red Bull failed to win, hurt, Horner said it instead kept the team humble.
“It leaves you humble that there’s still something to strive for,” the Red Bull boss said. “It’s a useful lesson that things can change quickly and I think Singapore was a standout weekend.
“You guys have been asking me since about race three do you think you can win all the races this year, to win 21 out of 22 races is insane.
“For Max to have led over 1,000 laps. For him to win 19 races. To have broken McLaren’s record from ’88.
“This car will go down in history. Certainly, I think for a considerable period of time, the most successful car in Formula 1 history.”