Christian Horner makes Fernando Alonso comparison while talking about Max Verstappen: Report

Verstappen made his Formula One debut for Toro Rosso in 2015 when he was just 17 years old, becoming the sport's youngest ever starter.

Christian Horner in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Apr 24, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Christian Horner, the head of the Red Bull Team, admits he does not know how long Max Verstappen’s love of racing will keep the Dutch driver competing. Verstappen is a fellow double world champion like Fernando Alonso, but Horner does not anticipate Verstappen to race into his 40s. Verstappen made his Formula One debut for Toro Rosso in 2015 when he was just 17 years old, becoming the sport’s youngest ever starter. The Dutch driver, who is now 25 years old, is currently in his ninth season of competition. Along with his former teammate Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen, he is now the sixth-most experienced driver on the starting grid.

“Max is his own man, and he is very strong in his opinions and his outlook on what he wants to do with his life,” Hroner said as per Sky. “I don’t see him being a Fernando Alonso and still racing at 41 or 42 years of age, or maybe not in Formula 1. But what his love and passion is, is racing, and if he is not racing on track at the moment, he is driving in the virtual world.”

“He is driving GT cars for fun, and his passion is just driving and racing, and while that burns within him, he is going to keep going. But how long that burns for? It’s each individual’s own journey [and] they’ve got to find that out for themselves.”

Verstappen and Red Bull are currently leading both championships, having made quick starts to their respective title defences. Verstappen has won two out of the three races this season, in Bahrain and Melbourne. The success of Red Bull’s RB19 has undoubtedly attracted the attention of their rivals, especially considering that Sergio Perez also triumphed in Saudi Arabia.

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“I mean, RB19 is a fantastic starting point for the season for us and to have achieved two 1-2 finishes in the first two races is more than we could have ever expected coming into this season,” Horner added. “But we’re conscious it’s a very long season. There’s still 21 races to go, and six Sprint races, and we’re conscious that big updates are coming for others in coming weeks as we head back to Europe. So, there’s still a lot to do and an awfully long way to go.”

Carlos Sainz on Australian GP penalty

Carlos Sainz expressed his disappointment on social media after Ferrari’s appeal regarding his late-race Australian Grand Prix penalty was rejected on Tuesday. He added that he is “100% focused” on the upcoming race in Azerbaijan. In a late restart at Albert Park, Sainz collided with fellow countryman Fernando Alonso, costing the Ferrari driver a five-second penalty that dropped him from P4 to P12 and out of the points. In the post-race interview, the Spaniard appeared frustrated, and Ferrari later filed an appeal. Following a hearing on Tuesday morning, the FIA made the decision to maintain Sainz’s punishment.

“Two weeks later, I still think the penalty is too disproportionate and I believe it should have at least been reviewed on the basis of the evidence and reasoning we have presented. We have to continue working together to improve certain things for the future,” Sainz said. “The consistency and decision making process has been a hot topic for many seasons now and we need to be clearer for the sake of our sport. What happened in Australia is now in the past and I am 100% focused on the next race in Baku.”