Like being in a nightclub for three days: Christian Horner after incredible Dutch GP weekend

Not only did Max Verstappen manage to bag pole position in qualifying, but he was also able to outsmart Lewis Hamilton to win the race.

Max Verstappen drives past his fans at the Zandvoort circuit. (Image: Twitter/F1)
PUBLISHED: Sep 6, 20213 MINUTE READ

Going into the Dutch Grand Prix (GP), there was immense pressure on Christian Horner, Max Verstappen, and Red Bull Racing. It was the home race of Verstappen, who is a driver for Red Bull. The pressure also comes from the fact that the Dutch was the only one challenging Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for the driver’s championship title. He had to win the race if he wanted to leapfrog Hamilton into first place on the championship table. Thankfully, for all parties involved, Verstappen did manage to beat Hamilton and a sea of fans dressed in orange erupted in celebration at the Zandvoort Circuit. Red Bull deployed a brilliant counter strategy when Mercedes called Hamilton in early to change his tyres and it worked to perfection. Team principal Christian Horner was over the moon with the performance as he praised the incredible fans that had gathered at Zandvoort on Sunday.

“I think it (Zandvoort) has done incredibly well. It’s an old school circuit. The atmosphere here has been outstanding. I think in my entire career I’ve never heard so much support for a driver. It’s been like being in a nightclub for three days,” said Horner.

The Red Bull team principal was full of praise for Verstappen who handled the pressure of a home race with a maturity that is far beyond his years.

HORNER HEAPS THE PRAISE ON VERSTAPPEN

“I think the way that Max has handled that pressure. We’ve seen with other drivers at home races sometimes it can get to them and the intensity and the noise at Zandvoort has just been insane. I think the way he’s dealt with that, he’s just focused on his job,” said Horner.

“The way the team’s dealt with that (too) I’m very proud of,” added the Red Bull chief.

There was no question over who the crowd favourite was going to be ahead of the race. However, nobody could have expected that level of support. The Zandvoort circuit saw its first F1 race after 1985 and the fans did not disappoint. A 70,000-strong crowd, all dressed in orange and screaming Verstappen’s name, gathered at the circuit. It might as well go down as one of the best race atmospheres in recent history. Horner claimed he had ‘never heard anything like the noise on the grid’ prior to the race.

“Max was remarkable this weekend,” continued Horner.

“If you drive through the town to the circuit, every house has got Verstappen flags. There is so much support for him, and I have never seen a nation get behind a driver in this manner. From the moment we’ve arrived, the music has been going, the build-up, the intensity and the one person who hasn’t felt it has been Max,” he added.

“He was focused on his own job, (has) gone about his business in the same way as at other races and he almost seemed oblivious to what was happening on the other side of the fence, with the mayhem and partying that was ensuing,” the Red Bull team principal concluded.



WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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