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Horner counters Stewart criticism of Verstappen

Horner counters Stewart criticism of Verstappen

Horner counters Stewart criticism of Verstappen

Horner counters Stewart criticism of Verstappen

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has countered the recent criticism aimed at Max Verstappen by three-time F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart.

Stewart was left unhappy by Verstappen's manoeuvre on Lewis Hamilton during the Italian Grand Prix which forced both drivers out of the race.

The 82-year-old felt Verstappen was handed what he described as "a weak penalty" by the stewards, serving a three-place grid drop for the following race in Russia.

Significantly, while hailing Verstappen as "the fastest driver in the business", Stewart also suggested his inexperience was still an issue, remarking he was "still slightly in the puppy stage".

Responding to the comment, Horner said: "Of course, I always respect Sir Jackie’s opinion.

"But I think Max has shown great maturity this year. You’re always evolving, always learning, and I’m sure Sir Jackie made a few mistakes in his time.

"So that’s the journey of life. You learn from every experience and when you see the progression from a 17-year-old, when he came into Formula 1, to the driver he is today, it’s pretty impressive."

As to whether Verstappen is, as Stewart claims, 'the fastest man on the grid', Horner added: "It’s always going to be subjective and open to debate. I’m just glad he’s driving our car."

Offering his thoughts on Stewart's words given Lewis Hamilton's strengths, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: "I’d like to echo what Christian said.

"Obviously, Max isn’t driving for Mercedes so I don’t know him really well but his trajectory is impressive, not only the speed but also the way he tackles the weekends.

"Overall, he’s not at the end of his career, there’s more to come and part of that is the learning process."

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