Whereas the world champion squad’s rivals have all closed in over the course of this season, Verstappen has all the time appeared to have sufficient in hand to fend off anybody who appears to be like on the verge of an assault.
It was a narrative repeated eventually weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, the place McLaren’s Lando Norris regarded like with the ability to threaten Verstappen in each the dash and the principle race – earlier than the lead Crimson Bull was capable of stretch its legs.
Crimson Bull workforce boss Christian Horner says that the eventualities taking part in out usually are not a case of the workforce sandbagging to disguise its true benefit and solely pushing onerous when it wanted to.
As a substitute, it was extra about Verstappen being a grasp of managing his tempo and tyres to make sure he all the time stayed in management.
“I feel that everyone manages their tempo in another way in a race, however I feel Max has turn out to be so good at studying a race,” defined Horner.
“He would not panic if he sees somebody taking day trip of him within the center sector or no matter. That’s as a result of he is wanting on the lengthy sport.
“And I feel he is simply received that internal confidence that he is aware of the place he’s.”
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Christian Horner, Workforce Principal, Crimson Bull Racing
Horner thinks that Verstappen is now reaping the rewards for data he gained throughout earlier seasons – even when he was being overwhelmed by the then dominant Mercedes workforce.
Requested when he noticed Verstappen develop this capacity to completely choose his tyre administration, Horner stated: “2019, I feel it was throughout that interval he actually, actually stepped it up.
“Then ’19 into ’20 to a level. Mercedes had a rocketship in ’20, however we had been nonetheless capable of win some races that yr. After which clearly ’21 was large.”
However whereas Verstappen has made profitable look straightforward in F1, he says that top degradation races like Brazil are removed from simple to handle.
“Perhaps it appears to be like absolutely straightforward from the surface, however I feel for many of each stint, Lando was matching my lap occasions,” stated the world champion.
“It was all the time just like the final 5 to 10 laps when it appeared like then, in fact, we had higher tyre deg. However yeah, the start of each stint, I positively needed to focus rather a lot and I couldn’t afford to make errors.
“Round right here, with the excessive deg as nicely, it’s not the best to drive. It’s not like you’ll be able to simply loosen up and let the automobile simply roll into the corners with none consequence. You needed to be actually on it.”