Horner laments Max’s ‘horrible day’ in practice

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen in his garage. Miami May 2022.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen wears a towel around his neck in his garage. Miami May 2022.

After trouble for Max Verstappen across free practice in Miami, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted the World Champion had endured a “horrible day”.

Verstappen lost out on a chunk of running in FP1 after an issue with the rear of his car that prompted Red Bull to make a gearbox change heading into second practice.

But his car was then seen on fire towards the right rear brake, which immediately scuppered his hopes of completing any meaningful running in FP2 – not setting a lap time at all as a result.

Horner admitted his annoyance at not being able to complete the team’s plans as intended, but tried to look on the plus side and highlighted Verstappen’s adaptability in getting on the pace quickly as he looks to make up lost ground from Friday.

“He’s had a horrible day,” Horner stated to Sky Sports F1. “We had an issue this morning, so as a precaution we changed the gearbox and one of the coolers.

“Then he’s driven out of the pit lane and had a hydraulic issue, which unfortunately caused some damage to the rear brakes.

“He got a few laps in – I think he’s had five timed laps today which were all competitive, but thankfully with the red flags he’s not lost too much. But it’s frustrating not to have that track time.

“He will probably do a few more laps in FP3 than normal, just to get into the circuit. With a street circuit, you’ve just got to find your way into it – but we know how good Max is at adapting to new venues.

“I’m sure he’ll catch that time up.”


Barring a harmless spin in second practice, Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez had a much less troubled time of things in Miami, completing his running and ranking third in the standings in FP2 behind George Russell and Charles Leclerc.

As such, the Red Bull team boss said they would be looking to the Mexican’s data to inform the team’s next steps heading into FP3 and qualifying on Saturday.

“Checo’s had a good session there,” Horner said. “Long run, short run, we’ve got a lot of info from him, so we’ll be relying on all that knowledge this evening and that will influence the set-up direction Max takes for tomorrow as well, so his side of the garage had a good run.”