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Hamilton title trauma 'completely over the head' of Verstappen

Hamilton title trauma 'completely over the head' of Verstappen

Hamilton title trauma 'completely over the head' of Verstappen

Hamilton title trauma 'completely over the head' of Verstappen
GPFans Staff

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner claims he can "understand the controversy" that dogged Max Verstappen's maiden F1 title triumph but insists it went 'completely over the head' of his driver.

With a new F1 season less than two weeks away, the hope of many fans is for a repeat of another campaign as last year that captivated its audience from the first race in Bahrain up to the final contentious lap of the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The details of that day are now well documented, and while there may be bitterness amongst some at the way Lewis Hamilton missed out on what would have been a record-breaking eighth title, for Verstappen he has long moved on from the fuss.

"It was just such an epic season, from start to finish so, so intense," said Horner, speaking on BBC Breakfast.

"It all came down to that last race, we'd had bad luck earlier in the year and we had a bit of good luck with the safety car at the end.

"It was controversial but we made the right strategic calls and Max still needed to get the job done, and that pass on the last lap was hugely tense but he managed to finish the job off, won the race and became the world champion."

Mercedes had chance to cover Red Bull

Suggested to Horner the end of last season was still being viewed as "unfair", he replied: "You've got to look at the season as a whole.

"Max won 10 races to Lewis' eight, he led more laps than all of the other drivers combined, he had bad luck in Azerbaijan, Hungary, Silverstone.

"We did get a little bit lucky with the incident in the end in Abu Dhabi but we still had to go and convert that, and Max was very deserving of that championship.

"You can understand the controversy and a lot's been made of that.

"But the decisions we made, it was nothing to do with us. We decided to change tyres, it gave Max that advantage. Mercedes could have done likewise but chose not to."

As to Verstappen's viewpoint now on the matter, Horner assessed: 'I think it's gone completely over his head.

"He was delighted to get that first world championship, against such a strong opponent - Lewis Hamilton, the most successful driver of all-time.

"I think that's what made it so intense, so hard last year, was just the intensity of that rivalry."

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