Horner praises Verstappen’s pulling power to F1

Date published: September 1 2016 - Editor

Coming under fire for his so-called dangerous driving, Red Bull boss Christian Horner defended his driver Max Verstappen, saying that he fills up seats during F1 races because of his entertaining driving style.

Recently, Verstappen garnered much criticism after he aggressively defended his position against Ferrari rival, Kimi Raikkonen, at the Belgian Grand Prix.

However, Horner feels that the Dutch youngster, who was originally born in Belgium, attracts fans to races rather impacting it negatively, using the most recent Grand Prix as an example of his pulling power.

He also compared Verstappen’s current situation to that of a young Sebastian Vettel, who eventually became one of the sport’s most successful participants.

“All the seriously gifted and ambitious drivers have that streak within them,” said the 42-year-old.

“I remember Sebastian [Vettel] getting criticised a few years ago, and there have been a few other drivers that history has demonstrated who have shown that fighting spirit.

“That fighting spirit is part of why there was such a big crowd [at Spa]. It was great to see the passion and enthusiasm.

“80,000 people turned up to the circuit and there was a good race put on.

“Unfortunately their man didn’t figure in it, but it demonstrates the drivers are the heroes in this sport and occasionally that special one comes along.

“I haven’t seen anything like that since the (Michael) Schumacher times, or  (Fernando) Alonso in Spain, or Nigel Mansell at Silverstone.

“It has really had an enormous effect, and hopefully we will see that at more venues in future races.”