Verstappen doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his achievements – Horner

2022 Mexican Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen hasn’t been given the credit he deserves for his “very special” performance in 2022, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes.

The driver clinched his second world championship at Suzuka last month with four races remaining. He set a new record for most wins in a season last weekend and has two more opportunities to raise it higher still over the final rounds.

But Horner believes people are too slow to praise his driver. “What we’re seeing today and this year, we are actually witnessing something very special,” he told media including RaceFans after Verstappen’s 14th win of the year in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.

“I sometimes think that his achievements perhaps don’t receive the plaudits that they should, because I think actually what we’ve witnessed this year is an absolutely outstanding performance driver that’s very much at the top of his game.”

Verstappen’s win on Sunday was his eighth in the last nine races. Red Bull has become increasingly dominant as the season has gone on, but Horner said Verstappen has often had to fight his way to victory this year.

“He’s won the most grands prix in a year now within [20] races. On top of that, he’s won two sprint races. And he’s not won all of them from pole position. He’s had to fight and race for a lot of those victories.

“So I think when we look back at the end of the year, it is an absolutely outstanding year that Max has driven. He hasn’t put a lot of wheels wrong, he’s been perfect throughout the season and it’s incredible the level of consistency that he’s been able to achieve.”

The record for most wins in a season was previously held by Sebastian Vettel, who achieved it when he won his fourth consecutive drivers championship at Red Bull in 2013. Horner said the team “can be incredibly proud” to have had two such successful drivers in their cars.

“There’s a lot of people that are sitting around the engineering office and the garage and obviously back at the factory that are all the same people that did that with Sebastian that are doing it again with Max.”

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2022 Mexican Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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113 comments on “Verstappen doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his achievements – Horner”

  1. Well after having to endure 8 years of every anti LH supporter saying ‘It’s the car,’ Max can enjoy some of that sentiment too.

    1. Not saying that I agree with that either by the way. Having the best car is only part of the formula.

    2. Because for Sir Lewis Hamilton it was the car – car with the most pole positions in 2014-2020, 0.5-1s/lap quicker than his rivals. With Max it’s completely different, as Red Bull is slower than Ferrari (look at qualifying results) and even when Max put it on pole, the difference was often mere thousands of a second.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        1st November 2022, 8:55

        And then suddenly the ORBR is 3 or 4 tenths faster in the race. Only in Australia was the Ferrari truly outstanding in the race.

        Do you write stuff just to be provocative, for the antagonism?

        Geroge managed to make his Williams the 2nd fastest car in qualifying at Spa.

        1. Why is it so difficult to accept Max’s race pace is better than Leclerc’s? We know Max is faster than Sainz, Ricciardo, Gasly, Albon and Perez, but you can’t accept that’s also the case with Leclerc? When Max won 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, coming from 15 seconds behind P1 to incredible victory, overtaking Leclerc in last few laps, was Red Bull faster than Ferrari? If yes, what was Gasly in his Red Bull doing 1 lap down on Max?

          Geroge managed to make his Williams the 2nd fastest car in qualifying at Spa.

          Yes, he made the difference in what was a midfield car that day, outqualifying Sir Hamilton. Absolutely embarassing for the so called “The GOAT”.

          1. Perez is ahead of both Ferraris in the championship, so that would suggest over the course of the season, the Red Bull has indeed been the better car on average.

          2. Perez is ahead of both Ferraris in the championship, so that would suggest over the course of the season, the Red Bull has indeed been the better car on average.

            Of course Leclerc/Ferrari lost many points due to non car issues; strategic misses and the occasional ‘unforced error’ by Leclerc.

          3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
            1st November 2022, 11:11

            And there you just admitted it as to why Ferrari is not scoring points, the ORBR car race pace.

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            1st November 2022, 12:11

            @armchairexpert

            Max is fast – there’s no doubt about that. In the Red Bull, I doubt there’s a faster driver over a season.

            However, he only won 2 races prior to 2021 and now he’s winning 10-16.

            However, no one can say with certainty that Max is the driving factor behind Red Bull’s success.

          5. @freelittlebirds
            No single driver has ever been the driving force behind a teams succes! Not Schumacher or Hamilton etc. It is always a combo of the driver and the devolpment team. You can’t win races in a bathtub with weels. Not even if you are Senna. And for the only 2 wins prior to 2021 it must also be accounted that he was driving a minor team and not in a top team. Only driver on the current grid to start in a top team is Hamilton. And for that reason only he has been in the oppertunity to win races from day 1 in F1. Not taking away that he is a great driver, but the car is 90 to 95 procent of the win. And that is for a drivers.

          6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            1st November 2022, 14:47

            @erit

            And for the only 2 wins prior to 2021 it must also be accounted that he was driving a minor team and not in a top team.

            What do you mean? Are you referring to Senna or Verstappen?

            No single driver has ever been the driving force behind a teams succes!

            Well, I suppose you have just produced a very compelling argument against Horner’s statement that Max doesn’t get enough credit. In fact, you could argue that he may be getting too much credit once you factor in the role the car plays, the role the FIA played, and the things Max got away with on track, and the whole cost cap breach which was a whopping $6 million over from what Red Bull submitted.

          7. @freelittlebirds
            yes i was referring to Verstappen.
            And yes if that is what Horner means than Verstappen should get the credits for driving a very good car but he is not the one creating/devolping the car. He contributes to the development of the car by pointing them in a direction and pointing out the shortcomings of the car. But it is the Engineers who solve those issues. So the team is always the most important and not induviduals. Not even Andrew Newey can do it all alone!

          8. Why is it so difficult for you to accept that the RB18 is a far superior car?!
            Winning 14 or 16 races, it’s the car mate! Of course it’s also a CHEAT car!!!

      2. can you tell us number of Redbull Gp win this year? total domination same as Mercedes

    3. Both Max’s titles/achievements have been devalued due to Masigate and costcapgate. There’s no getting away from that.

      And yeah, the RB is by far the best car of 2022. This season is very much like 2019, where Ferrari potentially had the fastest car on Saturday (they had more or less as many poles as Merc, should’ve taken more had Leclerc not crashed out of quali in Monaco) –However., Merc were comfortably ahead over race distance on Sunday. That’s also what has happened in 2022–Ferrari fast on Saturday, but RB have a comfortable pace advantage on Sunday. For many races this season, Max isn’t even pushing the car is so far ahead.

      Max is winning in the best car–pretty much like most champs before him

      1. @amam Insecure Max fans want to convince everybody that Max drives a back marker car and that this is all Max’s doing.

        1. Even as someone who likes verstappen I find it very silly to call red bull the 2nd best car this year, should be clear to see, like someone said earlier, due to perez being 2nd in the championship.

  2. Horner lives in some weird deluded bubble.

    I think Max has been getting enough credit from the fans and the media about how good he has been this season. The fact that everyone is comparing his current season to Schumacher’s 2004 and Vettel’s 2013 campaign is proof enough. The fact that he’s in the GOAT debate shows that he gets credit when due.

    The only thing that could discredit Verstappen’s achievements are Horner’s shady actions when it comes to breaching the cost cap etc. Horner is probably Verstappen’s biggest enemy in terms of reputation.

    1. Quite true @todfod – also, Horner saying this really isn’t doing anything to help in this case.

      1. If you only read the quotes from Horner, it’s nothing special and what one would expect him to say.

        The way the title and intro is edited reels in all the views and comments (e.g. why leave out the ‘sometimes’ and ‘perhaps’?)

        1. Constantijn Blondel
          1st November 2022, 11:41

          @jff: “why leave out the ‘sometimes’ and ‘perhaps’?” … because that’s what everyone does, so it must be alright :)

          I agree though … if you habitually check “quotes” in headlines against the actual words spoken, as reflected in the article, it becomes rapidly annoying how rarely they match and how often the headlines appear to say something much more inflammatory than what was said.

        2. the why there is INCREDIBLY simple @jff, @Constantijn Blondel: It makes a headline too long.

          1. That’s INCREDIBLY ignorant. Picking this headline only serves more clicks.
            “Verstappen perhaps doesn’t get the credit he deserves – Horner” is shorter but would better reflect what Horner said.

            Or “Verstappen showed an absolutely outstanding performance this year – Horner” which reflects the quotes even better but would not be as polemic and wouldn’t get as many clicks and comments.

      2. @todfod @bascb
        Basically Horner is blending the comment regarding Verstappen the driver, and the situation surrounding his championships. While the circumstances are questionable about his title last year, most (not too biased) fans admitted he drove a season deserving to be WDC (as did Lewis, not saying one deserved it more than the other over the whole season. Both were worthy in my opinion, then the events are what they are).

        This season, hard to argue Max has been a class of his own but unfortunately for him RedBull drew some shadow by its cost cap breach. I am among the fans feeling RedBull penalty is very lenient, but it doesn’t change the admiration for Max’s season which has been incredible.

        Maybe Horner should read all the words in a sentence to get the full meaning, he would know that Max is getting the credit he is due, and maybe he might get what should or shouldn’t be included in his costs…

        1. @jeanrien

          Agree completely. It’s similar to the point I was trying to make. Max has driven like a champ for the past 2 seasons. The only shadow cast around these championships is the cost cap and red bulls shady pressurising of a race official… Both of which are Horners area of responsibility. He’s damaging Verstappens achievements

          1. He’s damaging Verstappens achievements

            I’d agree with that. Max came a very creditable 2nd in 2021.
            The ability to run LH close to the limit is not to be sniffed at.

            A few unfortunate instances where the red mist descended over Max’s eyes, but a generally good performance.

        2. Yeah, well said there @jeanrien, I agree.

    2. Well said @todfod, even last year while many were unhappy with the way Verstappen was racing Hamilton in a way that others didn’t seem to be allowed to do, it was at the same time seen as deliberate and pretty brilliant, perhaps in a similar way that Senna or Schumacher were seen to push the limits and were great at it (both also got plenty of criticism for it while they were racing if I recall correctly, but it is now part of their legacy too).

      1. I’ve found Max’s performances much more impressive than Vettel’s when he was racking up wins, and certainly last season to win a title when a different team wins the WCC shows just how good he was (even though I disagree with what happened in Abu Dhabi, I think Max was the better driver overall last year and deserved his title). He will go down as an all time great, even if Red Bull never make him a decent car again.

        1. I’m not sure if a title is being given by the race director then it is deserved.

          1. I’m not sure if a title is being given by the race director then it is deserved.

            This. No matter how people try to dress it up, 2021 has the stain of Masi and costcap. In the eyes of many, that has devalued Max’s 2021.

          2. It doesn’t affect his performance in any way though. If Masi’s intervention hadn’t happened, he’d have finished a very close 2nd against someone some claim to be the GOAT and he’d have been unlucky to finish 2nd considering Bottas taking him out in Hungary or his tyre exploded in Azerbaijan. Without either of those, Verstappen could have coasted to a 2nd place finish.

            It was extremely fine margins that decided who had a few more points than the other and that doesn’t really define how well someone performed over the course of the season.

    3. Well if the championships of Verstappen are questionable, then those of Mercedes are as well. They started the Hybrid area with pre-knowledge. And looking back further we can find some more excamples of teams that bended the rules.

      1. What information did they have, that was not also available to other teams?

      2. @erit Care to elaborate about that prior knowledge?

        1. Well, the fact that sir Lewis went to Mercedes, while Mclaren was the absolute top team.. There was no need for him to do that, like Ricciardo was forced to do a step back. Mercedes chose him and convinced him, because at that time they already developed the engine, a 2 billion investment.. Cost cap? Anyone? In their 7 years of dominance, they had a car that was on avarage 2.5sec faster, they had to turn down the engine to 60% in the first years, just to foul us all..

          1. So much “mis information” regarding the hybrid engines.

            The Technical Working Group (who wrote the technical regs) includes the design heads/or senior members from each team–so ALL F1 teams had a say and input into the new engines

            The decision to switch to “greener” engines was made back in 2010. The original plan was to dump the V8 & adopt the 1.6- litre 4-cylinder turbo hybrids for the 2013 season. Mercedes was originally against the proposals, due to the costs. Indeed, Norbert Haug stated it would have been better to just extend the V8 era, citing the V8 as a low-cost engine. Ferrari also opposed the new formula, due to costs and the size of the proposed engine (4 cylinders). They felt it (4 cylinders) lacked relevance to their road cars. It was Renault who most pushed for the change, claiming the greener formula was in line with their road car strategy and that they had already started working on their 2013 engine designs. It was Renault who thus threatened to pull out of the sport if F1 didn’t adopt the new hybrid formula.

            In 2011, the teams eventually agreed to introduce the new formula for the 2014 season. Ferrari objected to the restriction to 4 cylinders, so the spec was changed to V6. In summary, Renault gave the strongest push for the hybrids to be initially introduced (not Mercedes), while Ferrari perhaps gave the strongest push to change from 4 cylinders to V6s

            Once the regulations were locked in (2011), unlike most other teams, Mercedes set to work immediately on preparing for the new regs. Brawn set aside a team of staff dedicated to specifically work on the new hybrid V6. Geoff Willis, a former Williams, Honda and Red Bull man, was hired in late 2011 to lead the planning group. Mercedes invested heavily on this and thus emerged as the best prepared team. All the teams had the same amount of time to prepare. They were all aware in 2011 that the new formula engine was to be introduced in 2014. There was nothing stopping the likes of Ferrari etc from also putting in as much focus and planning into the new regs. Mercedes simply did the best job.

            “Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari knew for five years what engines they would need to use this year (2014). Mercedes has simply done a better job. Such is motor sport.” (FIA chief Jean Todt)

            Andy Cowell in his podcast with MotorSport said that Merc actually started work on the V6 Hybrid engine by mid-2012.

            Renault, as early as 2011, confirmed they were already working on theirs;

            The proposed rules are road-relevant and completely in line with Renault’s road car strategy. We have already started design concepts on the 2013 engine, as this dovetails with our plans in road cars.

            (Renault’s F1 managing director Jean-Francois Caubet-speaking in 2011).

            So—-when one breaks it down, Renault actually started working on their engines before Merc, and Renault pushed the hardest for the hybrids to be introduced.

          2. Thank you @amam for your well sourced response. I already knew all of this, but I wanted to clarify @erit claims before refuting it.

            That conspiracy theory that Mercedes won because they cheated is far too common and unfounded.
            Charles‘ claims are baseless and just propagate fake news.
            Invoking the cost cap in an era when it did not exist is intellectually dishonest. And those 2.5 second of advantage come from absolutely nowhere.
            Patrick‘s claims are not sourced either, so they can be dismissed just as easily as they are advanced.

            This is a tautology, but made up facts are not facts, no matter how convinced you are.

          3. @amam thanks for all the facts.

        2. @Erit If you had been following F1 hybrid engine discussions 3 years before the engine was first used in a race you would know what he means by prior knowledge. In effect, Mercedes had a 2 years development head start on all the other teams which is likely why they were so successful straight out of the box.

          1. @patrick
            Thanks for this info, that was not known to me.

    4. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      1st November 2022, 17:06

      The only thing that could discredit Verstappen’s achievements are Horner’s shady actions when it comes to breaching the cost cap etc. Horner is probably Verstappen’s biggest enemy in terms of reputation.

      Well Horner, isn’t the only one. Verstappen has done a lot of damage to his own reputation and if that fails, there’s always Piquet

  3. I think Horner needs therapy for his victim complex

    1. Constantijn Blondel
      1st November 2022, 15:14

      He shouldn’t use the one that Toto and Lewis are using, because that one clearly is not doing a very good job :)

  4. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    1st November 2022, 8:59

    Horner must be looking in the wrong place for credits, IMO or is he expecting to only hear his driver’s name in any commentary and no-one else?

  5. I for once agree with Christian. Max is such a phenomenal driver. There aren’t many drivers that good. It’s pretty damn special to watch.

  6. I think he does to be fair. There’s a toxic DTS element to some people who follow F1 that didn’t exist before so it’s just the way it is now – Hamilton won’t get credit from some people for his achievements and Max won’t get credit from others but from people who actually properly understand F1 for what it is, it’s pretty clear they are the best 2 drivers we’ve had in F1 for quite a long time.

    When either has a car that is capable of winning a Championship, they have the ability to lock into a groove where they are faster than everyone else, are more consistent than everyone else and end up looking unbeatable.

    I hope both Red Bull and Mercedes have decent cars next year because unless it’s Max vs Lewis for the title, it’s going to be a dominant victory for one of them.

    1. 100% agree with all of this. There are other quick drivers out there, but you could have put any other driver in the other Red Bull or Mercedes seat last year and it would still have been Verstappen and Hamilton fighting it out for the win. And the same goes for this season with Verstappen and Red Bull.

      The level they both perform is amazing. This year Verstappen has been backed up by his team who produced a strong car, but not only that, they’ve been spot on virtually all season in terms of reliability and strategy.

      I would love to see another head to head between Verstappen and Hamilton next season. It was amazing sporting action. It needs Mercedes to massively up their game but I don’t see any other driver/team combo getting close to Verstappen and Red Bull in this sort of form.

      1. Disagree about leclerc not being at that level, it’s just ferrari as a team doesn’t give a lot of hope.

    2. I also hope Merc and RB have a car that is compatable for the wins, but please can we take away both Team Bosses! Toto and Horner are toxic. And they copy that on the drivers of their teams.

      1. Completely with you on that. And probably add Steiner and Szchafnauer to that shut up list. All just trying to be the next DTS ‘star’.

  7. I think Horner is getting it wrong. Max get’s a lot of credits but it’s getting not so much attention because controversial headlines are making much more noise and money.

    1. the 1st ‘ shouldn’t be there

  8. First Vettel. Now Verstappen. Who is the next superstar? Somebody whose surname starts with VE…

    1. @qeki Frederik Vesti lmao.

      1. @wsrgo Nothing against Vesti but lol

  9. Imagine in some time when the then new generation arrives in F1. “My earliest memories of F1 were when Max won his championships….

    1. Imagine in some time when the then new generation arrives in F1. “My earliest memories of F1 were when Max won his championships….

      So, someone not yet born then?

      2021 – gifted
      2022 – bought
      20?? – won?

  10. Plenty of credit in F1… for those that deserve it!

  11. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    1st November 2022, 10:31

    He doesn’t get the credit he deserves, I can agree with that.

    Abu Dhabi 2021 and the budget cap overspend have definitely put a smear against his accomplishments (through no fault of his own), which I can fully understand. It’s a shame as he is an outstanding driver, he just can’t seem to get a clean break at a controversy free season.

    1. No metter what till 2026 he will always be the one guy that had a car that was build with more money as they should have spend. No matter what the fine/punishment would have been. Same goes for Merc that had pre-knowledge for the engine rules in the hybrid erea.

  12. toto wolff and lewis hamilton, it is them who start it all

  13. He’s right, we’ve had Senna, Schumacher, Alonso and now Verstappen. Drivers who have risen up above all else and proven their excellence.

    They are the greatest of the great. All other are mere pretenders.

    1. It’s nonsense not to include Hamilton in that as well. All 5 of them have shown that they are a step above the rest and when any two from that list have competed in fairly equal cars, it’s been extremely close.

      1. Difference is, all those absolutely dominated their teammates, Ham has never shown that level of excellence.

        Can you imagine a Bottas occasionally beating the likes of Senna, Schumacher, Alonso or Vestappen? Not a chance!

    2. Transparent as a pane of glass…

    3. Jeffrey Powell
      1st November 2022, 13:56

      Senna, Schumacher, Alonso and now Verstappen all have had an army of detractors, whilst it cannot be denied that these four were and in the case of Alonso and Verstappen still are at the very top with regard to performance I don’t think any of them could be fairly described as GOAT unless you are meaning they might have fairly short tempers. You are obviously in the youngish dimension of F1 fans , I note that you do not include Ascari , Fangio, Clark or Stewart in your list, please do not kid yourself that a 1970 F1 car required less skill to drive flat out , it certainly was at least 100% more dangerous to life.

      1. It’s almost impossible to compare someone like Fangio with the modern-day drivers. Back in the day, it was a case of “how fast do you dare to go” whereas these days, it’s a given that you’ll go as fast as you physically can and is more a test of how fast you physically are.

        It’s like comparing someone doing a tightrope walk at 100m without a harness vs someone doing a tightrope walk with the rope is on the ground… The same person wouldn’t necessarily be the fastest in both situations.

        1. @petebaldwin You may have a point with your assertion but Prost definitely deserves to be on that list. Having watched F1 since the late 1950’s I personally would have no hesitation putting Jim Clarke on that list too.

          1. Jeffrey Powell
            2nd November 2022, 8:58

            For me Clark is GOAT but wouldn’t you know he was the first driver I got to see live, also I seem to remember Fangio and Senna. agreed. I didn’t include Prost because I thought it would create to many anti. comments, but I always say to my missus when he comes on the screen ‘ put him in one of those Williams and give him 10 laps he’d still be their lead driver’. And I am including Albon by the way.

        2. It’s almost impossible to compare someone like Fangio with the modern-day drivers. Back in the day, it was a case of “how fast do you dare to go” whereas these days, it’s a given that you’ll go as fast as you physically can and is more a test of how fast you physically are.

          I don’t really agree with this, I think it has always been a combination of the two. Yes, the former was more important in the past, particularly before the war and I think his complete lack of fear was probably the main reason why Tazio Nuvolari was such a great driver. But by the 1950s, I would say that what set Juan Manuel Fangio apart from the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Peter Collins or Luigi Musso for example, was much the same as what sets Verstappen and Hamilton apart from Sainz, Perez and Bottas today, rather than that he was prepared to go faster than them. And today, I believe that some drivers are prepared to go faster than others, it is just that they are risking crashing out, rather than death. Charles Leclerc is one who can noticeably be seen to give it more than others, and in my opinion that is why he is currently a little more error prone than his rivals, but has the potential to be a great champion.

          Mathematical models are, in my opinion, not hugely useful for comparing Fangio with Hamilton as there are so many factors that they cannot include. However, I think they can tell us that the drivers from every era are roughly the same level, and then Fangio and Hamilton can be compared through other means, and mental calculations (e.g. rough gap between Hamilton-Button, Button-Barrichello, Barrichello-Schumacher) can also be fairly useful. You can ask yourself who was the strongest compared to their closest rivals, and this is where Michael Schumacher looks very strong as he was streets ahead of anyone else from his era, but nobody else from that time were really top level drivers in the way that Alonso, Vettel and Verstappen (Hamilton’s main rivals) or Ascari and Moss (Fangio’s main rivals) were. And outright speed was not the same as overall ability; you can also compare them by how consistently they were able to be the best driver in a race, or how few errors they made.

          I won’t say who I think is the greatest of all time, as I am currently writing a top 100 ranking and don’t want to give spoilers, but I do think there 12 drivers who I consider the absolute elite of F1 history, namely Ascari, Fangio, Moss, Clark, Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton and Verstappen. And of the 12 there are two I would consider one step above the rest.

          1. @f1frog – It’ll be really interesting to see your top 100! I just think it’s a completely different mindset between the two eras (obviously there’s a lot in-between as well). These days you can go out there and fly around at 102% knowing that you’ll just go over the white line. You can then work on setup and find the exact point braking and turning in point to make sure you stay the right side of the line. They rely heavily on data and look to optimise everything.

            With Fangio etc, you had to approach things completely differently. You’d start at 80% and would slowly start to wind things up from there. There was no-one on the radio saying “you can brake 5m later into turn 1” and the results for pushing that tiny bit too hard were extreme. You also didn’t have an army of staff sat behind the scenes looking at ridiculous amounts of data – it was down to the driver and his mechanics to get things right.

            Obviously there’s a base level of being able to drive a car fast which they all share but when you’re talking about that 1% that separates the best of all time from the very good, it’s really hard to judge when so much has changed….

          2. @petebaldwin I absolutely agree with everything you have said, and for those reasons, I think that, hypothetically, Hamilton going one second quicker than teammate Bottas over a lap, that would be far more impressive than Fangio going one second quicker than Collins over a similar lap, but equally that result would look better on Collins than on Bottas. But as for what gap between Hamilton and Bottas is equivalent to a one second gap between Fangio and Collins, is where guesswork comes in and why, as you say, it is extremely difficult to compare Fangio and Hamilton, and why maybe it becomes a little subjective in terms of what era people find the driving from more impressive. But that is why it is an endless debate and there is no correct answer. I have factored this element into my top 100 but don’t know how accurately I have done so.

  14. Max is an incredible driver, there can be no doubt of that. I think he fully gets the credit he deserves. He has legions of fans, and is praised pretty much universally for his driving skills.

    Thinking Red Bull having the superior package this year, and winning the driver’s championship last year due to incorrect application of the rules shouldn’t be confused with thinking Verstappen isn’t a great talent.

    Horner and co are doing everything they can do distract from budget cap headlines which should be the major F1 concern!

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      1st November 2022, 15:47

      Indeed. Perhaps to couch it in simple terms for Horner. You are talking bull.

  15. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    1st November 2022, 12:03

    Well, there’s a reason for that. It’s akin to cheering for Lance Armstrong after he’s been found guilty of doping twice. Like Verstappen Lance Armstrong was quick but would he have won without the illegal aid?

    Max is quick and was able to win 2 races a season on average but now he’s suddenly 10-16.

    Horner’s right – people will always question if Max was the driving force behind Red Bull’s success.

    1. Max is quick and was able to win 2 races a season on average but now he’s suddenly 10-16.

      the same logic can be applied for so many other F1 champions like Senna, Schumacher or Hamilton

    2. Well the obvious difference is Max didn’t cheat whereas Lance Armstrong did. Lance cheated to make himself a better rider – Max didn’t cheat to make himself a better driver.

      People can argue over the reasons why the Red Bull is the fastest car this year and whether it’s fair or not just as they can argue over whether the Mercedes being the fastest because of engine rules that locked in their advantage for a whole generation was fair… Ultimately, the driver drives the car he’s given and just as Hamilton was in his dominant car, Max is currently unbeatable and that’s due to a combination of a dominant car and extremely good, consistent driving.

      Whether you view his titles as legitimate or not doesn’t really factor into this. When Lewis had a dominant car, he won easily. When Max had a dominant car, he won easily. When their cars were fairly equal, they were inseparable. Max won because of a dodgy decision but he only had to win because Hamilton’s team mate ploughed into him in Hungary… The fact is, both performed well enough to win the Championship and it was ultimately down to who had the better slice of luck that decided it.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        1st November 2022, 12:37

        @petebaldwin I think Max’s driving tactics from last year disagree with you.

        Bottas’s accident was caused by Norris. Iirc Bottas had a lot of space, he accelerated to take said space only for Norris to jump in front and create a roadblock. Bottas locked up realizing he wouldn’t have time to slow down. Ultimately Norris spearheaded the carambolage. But I could be wrong:)

  16. I think the Braketesting, Torpedoing, would be Decapitator has quite the well earned reputation, amongst the sporting.

    Hamilton 8 x FIA F1 Champion.

    Braketester 2 x Masi Rules Champion.

    1. Wake up, and look back on 2021 and see how it started with bending the rules for Hamilton being allowed to cut the corners. All year it has been dirty between the 2 teams. And most discusting was the action of Bottas as it toke out 2 cars of RB. Never seen a driver of a top team doing that before and hopefully never to see it again.

      1. Never saw lap 1 crashes? Or you are watching since Hungary last year only?

      2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        1st November 2022, 15:45

        Was that when he was forced off the track by Verstappen?

        I don’t think in the last few years any driver has deliberately, intentionally, wilfully, taken a course of action to crash into another car. Although Verstappen did say after Monza that’s what you get if you don’t leave me enough room.

        1. That’s the thing: no driver in recent times (with the exception of CrashGate) would deliberately crash into another.

          There’s a fine line between that and the “I’m coming through, move or we crash” mentality, but it’s an important one. Hamilton had that attitude earlier in his career, too, and it came through again last season when he realised the only way to challenge Max was to play him at his own game. When two drivers adopting that attitude race each other, there will be crashes, but they are not deliberate.

        2. Same was said by Hamilton after Silverstone, so what is your point?

  17. We have indeed witnessed very special things. A very special WCC’21 that was gifted. Race wins that led to another very special WCC’22, both from very special cars produced with extra special spend. Very special indeed, Christian.

    Is Max worried already at this young age about his legacy? By Max’s own admission, he just wants to drive. Is Christian demanding we all give credit to Max, the driver? And not the car? Or is Christian angling for recognition for his own achievements, because the later part of the article made mention of the dominant years with Vettel? Previously, he was keen to let it be known that Max’s wins and championships were better than those of Vettel’s. This is very disrespectful of Vettel and his other drivers’ achievements. Propelling one necessitates bringing down others – is Christian Horner’s belief.

  18. He’s got the trophy and a wad of cash, what more does he want!

  19. Horner missed a vocation as a wet nurse.

  20. Still moaning about last year. I guess that will never end.
    If anyone is to blame it is Toto for not calling Hammie in for a tire change.
    Please spare me the “he would have lost the lead if he’d done that.” Now he lost the race and the championship. The old saying that has been around for ages still stand true.
    “You get what you deserve”

    1. There’s a lot of hindsight with that, it would’ve made sense to pit with the VSC but not with the final SC, very risky with 5 laps to go.

    2. Horner is complaining and Toto is to blame? Are you commenting on the right article FlyingD?

  21. Can’t blame Toto for planning his strategy on the basis the race director would apply the rules. Had Masi applied the rules, Lewis would now be an 8xWDC.

  22. Absolutely agree with the headline of this article, Max is an amazing driver who´s done things inside the car like many few, and still there ‘s so much people focusing on 1 GP (UAE) and now on the cost cap breach, remember that mercedes was unbeatable and the end of last year season which means he still won WDC with the second quickest car of the grid, it´s hard to believe that any other driver would be capable to achieve that

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      1st November 2022, 15:39

      Still cannot accept what Newey said about his creation being the faster car.

  23. He hasn’t been challenged all year, no doubt a great driver but Red Bull have given him such a good car he has largely cruised to wins, even when starting lower down the grid he hasn’t had to do anything special to get past the people in front. His performance last year was far superior as he had a challenger driving at equally high level in a similar paced car and he showed great skill and racecraft as well as being extremely fast, this year he has just been extremely fast.

  24. @amam
    In high stake games you have to be prepared for all possibilities. They were not.
    “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong” comes to mind. Isn’t that Murphy’s law?
    They got bit and can’t get over it. Blame it on everything except their own mistake.

    1. I think no team can reasonably anticipate the race director making up his own safety car rules in an unprecedented way.

  25. Once again, Horner and Red Bull’s accounting is wrong.

    Max gets plenty of credit. He is widely regarded as one of the, if not the, most talented driver on the grid. His two world championships have been tainted by controversy, yes, but not controversy over Max’s abilities as a driver. They have been controversies sparked by Red Bull’s and the FIA’s novel approach to rule interpretations. Max’s own reputation and credit score has risen to the absolute top. If anyone’s credit has been downgraded in the last few years, it is Horner’s. Maybe Horner can’t tell the difference between himself and Max anymore. Which is just sad.

  26. Max has driven pretty decently for the last two seasons, racking up wins and getting 2 WDCs (and leaving the goat-simulator brigade foaming in the mouth about Masi and the cost cap, that’s quite entertaining). But still what impressed me most was his Brazil 2016 drive. I have not seen anything like that in decades.

    1. Brazil 2016 was also a great wet race in general, there were plenty of SC but they let them race with full wets conditions, a thing that has been sorely missing lately.

    2. Who won that race?

      1. Guess it was the most successful driver of all time, showing once again his brilliant driving in wet conditions…

      2. @Emma – The cameras were on Max – that’s what people remember. And he had a fantastic drive, no question. But look at the actual race, and LH was untouchable. He drove masterfully, fast enough to win, and often faster than Verstappen. The whole ‘who is the best’ discussion above leaves out a major point – who is best at winning in bad conditions – and that has been Lewis. Others should be mentioned, but I’m not going to.

  27. Looks like to me that horner is ignoring verstappen’s mistakes when he says he’s been flawless: hungary quali mistake, race spin, when he went wide in spain during the race and when he went long in singapore, I wouldn’t say he made a lot less mistakes than leclerc, he’s still probably been the best driver, but the car is the biggest difference maker, and unlike mid season we can no longer say the cars have been matched, not even close.

  28. Sure he does.

  29. So we have people all around the world actually being chill with 2021 outcome and mostly enjoying Verstappen as a 2022 champion and on the other hand we have mostly UK-based media experts and opinionists that have a privilege to talk worldwide infinitely digging through Red Bull trash.

    1. What makes you think it’s only in the UK? For instance, some in the French media refused to endorse Max as 2021 champ

      1. Hey, @amam , be careful there, facts confuse the Orangistas, and they are liable to react badly, throwing bad smelling stuff (Red Bull*).

  30. As soon as I saw the headline I was sure I was going to get my daily dose of salt. Thanks for not disappointing me.

  31. Im not sure how much more he needs? Great driver exploiting the cars dominance, as has every other champion. Just give him a better team mate just to make it interesting for the future

  32. I agree, Verstapen doesn’t get enough credit for what he has achieved, it’s exceptional and he is definitely the best of his time, by far. Unfortunately, Horner is part of the reason why Verstapen doesn’t get that credit, the fact that they went over the cap in 2021 left an ugly sentiment over the past and current season… If Horner had done his work correctly and prevented that cost cap breach, the situation would be different (in my opinion, I may be wrong).

    Even if the cost cap breach didn’t change anything (and I’m sure it didn’t, because Verstapen is still so much faster than his teammate who has the same car), it still hurt that victory and I find that sucks cause he definitely deserves all the credit for his victories (not a Verstapen fan here btw).

    In a way, Horner has let down Verstapen by not doing his job.

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