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2018 F1

Horner praises triumphant Max Verstappen’s maturity

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Red Bull F1 racing team boss Christian Horner praises Max Verstappen’s triumph driving style in Austrian Grand Prix, and Red Bull’s first at “home”, especially admired the maturity of the young Dutchman in an incident-packed race.

It was Verstappen’s fourth career victory as he came in front of a big crowd including a 20,000-strong “Orange army” of Dutch fans, ahead of the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, who regained the lead in the drivers’ championship ahead of Hamilton by a single point.

“Hats off to him,” said Horner. “It was a really mature drive because the tyres were so crucial with the blisters and everything that is going on — he just managed to keep those temperatures down and managed it all the way through.

“He was keeping the rear left cooler than the rear right and the left here is the one that takes all the load. He was constantly asking for information and managing those tyres — and that is why they didn’t blister up.

“It is a dream result at the Red Bull Ring, a Red Bull car and Max driving an unbelievable race — and it was absolutely nailed in the first lap.”

Max started from fourth on the grid, but he took all benefits with better starting attacks, and keep his position behind Mercedes duo, who’s forced to retire from in the due to mechanical trouble.

Horner added that Verstappen drove with skill beyond his years in keeping the two Ferraris of Finn Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

“It was tougher than it looked because I had to be on top of my tyres,” said Verstappen. “They were opening up. I knew Kimi was three or four tenths quicker…The win was very unexpected, which makes it even better.

“I just tried to do my best race possible. If you’re first, second or third, it’s not always in your hands…If you’re calm, it’s better. The early contact with Kimi helped me a lot. It gave me that five or six seconds.

“And with the fans, it was incredible. When you start leading the race, they start cheering you on. The orange smoke was coming as well. It was an amazing weekend.”

The birthday boy Daniel Ricciardo endured an annoying race, retiring due to a broken exhaust.

“This is the sport I signed up for as a kid,” he said but added that: “If I could live my youth again, I would probably change it! I’m disappointed how the day went. Is it too late to start my MMA career? I’m out of contract so maybe I will swap sports altogether.”

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