A battle to remember for the Formula 1 world title in 2021. An exciting duel for the championship between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who did not give an inch all year and came to the last race to decide everything as one. single lap. The Red Bull driver won the showdown. Lewis Hamilton seems not to have recovered from such a blow from a youngster who is set to dominate F1 in the same way that the Briton did before. The king, seven times champion, is stripped of his crown to give it to Prince Tulip. Christian Horner continues to talk about this battle that has not been experienced in the competition for many years, perhaps since his time with Vettel in the team against Fernando Alonso in Ferrari. The engineer admits that it was also a psychological fight and that Lewis never recognized Max’s talent.
Hamilton’s ego didn’t recognize Verstappen’s success
According to Christian Horner, the very small differences ensured that last year’s title fight also turned into a psychological duel and for him, Verstappen won that battle. “I think Max got into Lewis’s head before.. Of course, he is the seven-time world champion who has everything to lose. Max is the young man who takes risks, who gives everything and has nothing to lose. Some of his overtaking last year was beautiful and I think you could tell that this was starting to irritate Lewis.” argues Horner in the podcast Beyond the Net.
The engineer continues to highlight the Silverstone crash or the Monza crash. “After Lewis was quickest in qualifying at Silverstone and Max won the sprint race, you could tell Lewis was a bit broken. Max had made it through Copse, I don’t think anyone saw him again that afternoon, so there was also a somewhat desperate atmosphere. The stakes were high and emotions were running high, but I think he probably moved Lewis more than Max because he had more to do. Max had all the wishesr,” he adds.
A year later Max has a new rival: Charles Leclerc
This 2022 season, Verstappen patiently awaits the achievement of his second world title. With six races to go, he has his first chance at the Singapore GP and if not at the Japanese GP, at Honda’s house. His rival is Charles Leclerc although Ferrari’s mistakes have deprived him of a longer fight. Horner notes that the relationship between Verstappen and Leclerc is completely different from the one between the reigning world champion and Hamilton. He now sees that there is much more respect between the two. “There is a difference, maybe there is a different kind of respect with Charles. They have been competing with each other since they were children and there has always been mutual respect“, Horner pointed out. And he takes the opportunity to throw another dart at Hamilton and Mercedes, assuring that the Briton did not recognize everything that his pilot did. “I never heard Lewis recognize the qualities of Max. So of course there was a little bit more venom and you could feel it, you could feel this happening between these two pilots.“, concluded the chief director of the Austrian team.