Horner Attributes “Set of Circumstances” to Promoting Max Verstappen in 2016

Published 05/17/2021, 5:36 AM EDT
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talk in the garage during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 01, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Max Verstappen is arguably the hottest commodity on the current F1 grid. At just 23 years of age, he is leading Red Bull’s charge for the title this season, and has given a tough fight to Lewis Hamilton this season.

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Verstappen debuted in F1 with Toro Rosso at the tender age of 17. After an impressive season in 2015, he got promoted to Red Bull in 2016. However, the promotion happened in an unlikely manner, with Daniil Kvyat dropping to Toro Rosso just four races in to the season. Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, explained the reason behind the move.

Horner: Max Verstappen promoted to “cement long-term future”

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Back in 2016, Red Bull knew Max Verstappen would become a superstar in the future. However, the Austrian outfit confirmed Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo as their drivers for 2016. In addition, Kvyat was ahead of Ricciardo after three races in the championship that year.

However, a disastrous Russian Grand Prix saw Kvyat switch with Verstappen for the rest of the season. Christian Horner, who oversaw the switch, points out that the reasons for it went beyond Kvyat’s performances up till then.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference after qualifying in second position FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

He said“Danny Kvyat obviously had a difficult start to the year and we decided to make the switch. It was a set of circumstances that played out and we wanted to cement Max’s long-term future.”

Verstappen is “really excited for the future”

On his debut with Red Bull, Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016. This made him the youngest race winner in the history of Formula One.

Since then, he’s been the star driver for the Austrian outfit, carrying their title challenge year after year. This season could be one of his best chances to win the world title, and he’s currently enjoying life at Red Bull.

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Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen reacts after finishing second in the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys

The Dutchman said, “I’m really excited for the future. I think we already have a good base right now and it can only get better.”

With Verstappen tightly locked in the title fight with Lewis Hamilton this season, the outcome could have huge implications for next season. Will Max continue to lead Red Bull? Or is a move to Mercedes on the cards?

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Sanket Nair

145 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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