Horner Takes a Pop at Hamilton & Mercedes’ Mind Games as He Reveals Verstappen Advice

Published 10/20/2021, 11:13 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


Christian Horner, Team Principal at Red Bull Racing, sat down for a heart-to-heart conversation right before the Formula 1 racers fight it out at the US Grand Prix 2021. As the final six races of this season are left, the situation in the F1 paddocks is a quite serious one.

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Mercedes and Red Bull are in a head-to-head battle for the Constructors’ Championship while RB prodigy Max Verstappen is eyeing to usurp Lewis Hamilton from his throne and become the world champion. With tension soaring in the team garages, Horner took a slight dig at his chief rival for playing mind games with Max.

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Christian Horner asked Max not to let bad comments get to his head

After many years of Mercedes supremacy ever since the F1 hybrid era started, Red Bull has finally given Verstappen a car that can put up a good fight against the Silver Arrows. And the Dutchman is hungry for winning the Championship.

So, undoubtedly, there is some tension between him and the reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton. And the peak of this Verstappen-Hamilton rivalry is considered to be the moment when they collided at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Later, Hamilton criticized Max for the accident while Max said, “I cannot always be polite and nice, that’s not how I work.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 20, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with team principal Christian Horner after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Nicolas Tucat

Christian Horner reckoned it was not the first time Hamilton had tried playing mind games with his opponent, acting as if the entire blame for the collision should go to Verstappen.

He took a slight dig at the seven-time F1 World Champion and said, “We just remind Max that our focus is very much on ourselves and not to get sucked into any of our competitors’ comments when they’re taking a pop at you. They’re doing that because, ultimately, they don’t have that inner confidence in themselves. It’s best to take that as a compliment.

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Red Bull believe they have a chance to win the World Championship

Speaking of Red Bull’s immense improvement in 2021, their British Team Principal said it is their determination and grit which got them to this position. Till last year, they were trying their best to develop a car and a strategy that would rival Mercedes’ car but now, they have achieved that goal.

Now, Horner is eyeing the Championship victory. “We’ve got a chance, a true chance, of delivering a world championship this year and we’re going to give it everything to achieve that.”

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

With just a few races left on the calendar, the US Grand Prix could definitely be a turning point in the Championship story of the 2021 season of Formula One. Many questions plague the fans – will Hamilton win a record-breaking 8 title or will Max snatch that chance from him? Will Mercedes be able to keep up their Hybrid Era domination or will they fail? Only time will give answers to all these questions.

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Riddhi Mondal

106 articles

Riddhi Mondal is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport.

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