Red Bull boss Christian Horner has no complaints about Max Verstappen’s unhappiness with the handling of his RB19 throughout the weekend in Singapore.
Fresh off the back of 10 consecutive race wins to set a new record in F1, Max Verstappen had a far less happy weekend in Singapore. From the get-go on Friday, his usually exemplary RB19 failed to co-operate with his demands and, astonishingly, the Dutch driver was knocked out on merit during the Q2 session.
During practice ahead of the calamitous qualifying session, Verstappen had been on the team radio to complain about his car, labelling as ‘unacceptable’ the fact that his team weren’t nailing the setup of his car as he struggled with gearshifts, with his communiqués frequently littered with expletives.
Christian Horner: Max Verstappen is a ‘very honest’ guy
Given that the equipment Verstappen is usually supplied with is of the highest standard in F1, perhaps in the history of the sport, Verstappen’s anger could have resulted in some understandable annoyance from Red Bull – after all, the World Champion team are very rarely not at the top of their game.
However, Christian Horner said Verstappen’s temper isn’t something Red Bull concern themselves with, explaining that they expect the same standards of themselves as they do from their drivers.
“He cares. And he wants it,” Horner said.
“He’s the most competitive driver we’ve ever worked with. That’s who he is. You know that, when he gets in the car, he’ll give you 110%. That’s exactly what he’s done today.
“He’s just a very honest guy, he doesn’t hide his emotions. I think that he was disappointed in yesterday, as the whole team was, but he brushed himself down and came back fighting today and put in a great drive.”
Verstappen may have had a frustrating race from 11th on the grid, salvaging fifth as badly timed interventions from the Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car ruined any chance of a proper comeback, but the Dutch driver was far more philosophical about his fortunes on Sunday as his dominant run came to an end.
Horner explained that Verstappen may have been annoyed in the heat of the moment, but that he is able to see the bigger picture of just what he and the team are achieving this year.
“He’s won 10 races, he’s leading in the World Championship by almost double the points of anybody else,” he said.
“So he’s got plenty of reasons to be happy with life at the moment and he is clear enough in the bigger picture. He knows this was an anomaly and, hopefully, we can be competitive again next weekend.”
Christian Horner: It’s been a hell of a run for Red Bull
With Red Bull also undefeated since last year’s Sao Paolo Grand Prix, Horner said he and the team had always known that, at some point, their long unbeaten run would come to a halt at some point.
“To win 15 in a row is insanity when you consider the variance of circuits that we’ve come across, the conditions etc.,” he said.
“I think this is the first time since 2018 that we weren’t in Q3, so it’s been a hell of a run for the team.
“We always knew was going to come to a stop at some point. It’s been an incredible year, one that we’re all very proud of.”