Christian Horner explained how Max Verstappen operates within the Red Bull team, sometimes leading the Dutch driver to behave in an authoritative manner. The director shares how his driver translates his demands on himself and his team.
“Max, as a person, is just a very nice 26-year-old young man,” Horner said. “Verstappen is passionate about his racing and is not comfortable with the level of fame or recognition he has today.”
“He just wants to do his job and drive a car to its limits; he is very, very straightforward and very honest. He enjoys spending time with his PlayStation when he’s not in a racing car. So, outside the car, he’s quite a gentle character.”
“In the car, he’s ruthless. I’ve never met a driver as driven as Max. As soon as he gets in the car, you know you’re going to be at 110%. He expects 110% in return, from the moment the car leaves the garage.”
Max Verstappen of Red Bull “asserts his authority” from the first practice session.
Horner is amused to see that his driver sometimes shows his authority on the tracks by setting the fastest lap early in the weekend, even if it’s not significant, just to set the tone.
“It’s interesting, every time we go to a track, even a new one, the first lap of the weekend doesn’t mean much. I would almost bet my house on the fact that the driver who comes out with the best time on the first lap, sometimes two or three seconds faster than any other driver, is Max.”
“Because it’s a way for him to assert his authority by saying ‘I am in tune with my car, I am at the top of my game.’ He has the confidence, ability, feel, and technique to do this and to adapt.”
“I think he came into Formula 1 at a very young age, as a teenager, after missing – if you will – the training that occurs in the lower formulas. He did it very publicly in an arena where every move of these men is scrutinized and dissected.”
“I think he has come through it and his mental strength, in the big moments of the game, whether it’s in qualifying, a start, an overtake, or coming off the track, is exceptional. I’ve never met a driver with such resilience, able to handle pressure in these high-stakes moments.”
Max Verstappen Red Bull An Interview with Christian Horner.