‘Never heard Lewis recognize Max’s ability’ – Christian Horner

Franz Tost Germany

Christian Horner talked in a recent podcast about how Lewis Hamilton never appreciated Max Verstappen’s skills and talent as a driver.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were engaged in a heated battle last year for the ultimate glory. Max Verstappen ultimately took the crown in a rather controversial manner.

The season-long fight took a toll on both camps. It resulted in many heated exchanges between the two.

Horner compared the battle with the current season battle between Verstappen and Leclerc. Horner thinks the battle to be totally different as both have raced against each other for a long time.

Nevertheless, Horner thinks that he doesn’t remember a moment when the Mercedes rival complemented Verstappen for his skill:

You know, there’s a difference, there’s perhaps a different respect with Charles,”

Horner said on a podcast.

“They raced each other since [being] kids, and there was a mutual respect. I’ve never once ever heard Lewis recognize Max’s ability.

“And so of course, there was just a bit more needle to it and you could feel that, and you could sense that between those two drivers.”

Horner revealed that Verstappen was not “in awe” or “afraid” of racing Lewis Hamilton. Rather Horner praised Hamilton saying he has respect for him for the career the Briton has forged in Formula 1.

The Battle was many times psychological – Horner

There were many moments when emotions overflew during the battle last season. Red Bull and Christian Horner criticized Lewis Hamilton for celebrating Silverstone’s win knowing that Verstappen was still in the hospital.

Horner believes that the battle became a psychological one other than the on-track struggle. When asked if both drivers were in each other’s heads, Horner replied:

“I think arguably, maybe more so in Lewis’ head,”

“Because he’s the seven-time World Champion that has everything to lose, Max is the young kid that’s taking the risks, that’s throwing everything at it, and got nothing to lose.

“Some of his overtaking last year was stunning and you felt that started to rattle Lewis, I think.

“We definitely saw after Lewis qualified on pole at Silverstone and Max won the sprint race you saw Lewis, he was a bit broken after the sprint race.

“Had Max made it through Copse [Corner], I don’t think they’d have seen him again that afternoon, so there was an air of desperation building in as well.

“It was high stakes stuff and your emotions run high, but it probably affected Lewis arguably more than Max because, as I say, he’d got more to lose than Max. Max had everything to gain.”

Amidst such a heated battle, it was rather unlikely for the two to see praising each other. However, we can say that both drivers have the utmost respect for each other.

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