Horner on Verstappen’s F1 dominance: “Nobody in the world right now could beat Max in this car”

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Championship leader Max Verstappen replied to Lewis Hamilton’s comments on the Dutch driver’s record-breaking run of ten race wins in a row.

The Mercedes driver had admitted he felt “no more impressed” than he had felt in the past for other more or less dominant championship-winning runs, citing Schumacher, Vettel, Raikkonen and Alonso, and had stressed the difference in quality between Verstappen and all of his teammates, present and past:

In my personal opinion, Valtteri, and actually all my team-mates, have been stronger than the team-mates that Max has had.”

The reigning champion wasn’t very pleased with the Brit’s declaration, which downplayed his own achievements: “Maybe he’s a little jealous of my current success. This kind of statement… he possibly thinks he’s winning something with that, but it makes no difference to me.

The German team is still stuck on their historical run which left them with eight consecutive team championships, in Verstappen’s opinion, who added that they should focus on their car and themselves rather than to try and bring the Bulls down publicly:

I think Mercedes have a very hard time dealing with losing, after all these years of winning so much. At some point, you have to be realistic and then you have to be able to appreciate what other teams are doing.

We did the same when they were dominant and we also said, ‘We have to work harder because we are not good enough’. You can keep shouting and screaming that what we do is not that special… you just have to deal with yourself.”

Photo credits: Oracle Red Bull Racing

Red Bull’s Team Principal Christian Horner weighed in on the topic as well. Asked after the Italian GP for his opinion on the quotes from his driver and Hamilton’s, the Englishman stated that he believes the two-time World Champion didn’t want to be drawn into it. However, he thinks nobody could touch the Dutchman in the RB19.

Look, I don’t want to get drawn into commenting on that. I think that Max, what he is doing, he’s breaking records, he’s driving at an unbelievable level.

He added that breaking records is not a regular occurrence in Formula 1 and that it should be praised.

I think you have to recognise and applaud what Max is doing at the moment. It is very special to achieve what he has achieved. I think that we shouldn’t detract from that in any way.

“In this sport, very rarely things like this happen, it’s a golden moment for him and certainly a golden moment for the team,” he concluded, remarking the fact that it’s an historical moment for the whole Milton Keynes-based team too, as they have won every race in the 2023 season so far.