Red Bull boss Christian Horner has said his comments regarding Max Verstappen being a more talented driver than Sebastian Vettel were mistranslated.
In the build-up to the United States Grand Prix weekend, Horner was interviewed by German publication Autobild and asked how he felt Verstappen matched up when compared to Vettel back in his Red Bull days.
“Max has more talent, he is like a lion when he is in the car. He never gives up, never,” Horner told Autobild.
However, following the conclusion of FP1 in Austin, Texas, Horner clarified that opening remark was not what he actually said.
“The problem with doing interviews in German, not that I speak German, is that they get misconstrued,” Horner clarified via Sky Sports.
“So that was one of those scenarios where I quite clearly said that Max has ‘raw talent’, raw with an ‘r’, and that got translated as more with an ‘m’.
“They are different drivers. Sebastian, with what he has achieved, is phenomenal. And I stick by that comment with Max, his raw talent absolutely obvious.
“I think we are starting to see the experience come alongside that now. He has been in great form the last four or five races.”
Then asked about Verstappen’s continuing spat with Renault, Horner added: “I don’t think Max is going to be top of Cyril Abiteboul’s Christmas card list.
“I’m probably not at the top of it either. Max is just brutally honest and he will give you a direct answer.
“We’re not with Renault next year so what they are up to is their business and we are very much focused on our own future.”