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Horner claims Verstappen form unprecedented

Horner claims Verstappen form unprecedented

Horner claims Verstappen form unprecedented

Horner claims Verstappen form unprecedented
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed no driver could repeat Max Verstappen's achievements this season.

The Dutchman secured his second successive F1 world championship in sublime fashion.

Despite retiring from two of the first three races, Verstappen won 15 of the 22, as well as two of the three sprint events, with his victories coming from an array of positions on the grid.

The final standings saw Verstappen finish 146 points ahead of runner-up Charles Leclerc, with Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez third.

Asked if the Mexican could challenge Verstappen next season, Horner replied: "I think Max is operating at a level that I am not sure anybody, the way he is driving at the moment, in the same equipment, would be able to repeat what he has done this year."

Horner details Perez tyre woes

Perez has long been hailed as F1's 'tyre whisperer' during the Pirelli era, yet when he needed to nurse his tyres at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he was forced into a two-stop.

This allowed Leclerc to execute a one-stop strategy and finish ahead in the standings.

Pirelli introduced 18-inch tyres to coincide with F1's regulation changes this season and asked if this change went against Perez's ability to handle tyre degradation, Horner explained: "What we have seen this year is the margins are so fine.

"You can be a tick of front wing out or a tiny bit of ride height or a small amount of mechanical balance and it can have a dramatic effect on your tyre life.

"Checo has driven so many races where he has been fantastic on the tyres but [in Abu Dhabi] it was just the first stint that compromised him where the front right started to grain and grain quite heavily compared to Charles and Max.

"That then put him out of sync where we had to pit and that was on a very compromised one-stop, so the two-stop was the more attacking race."

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