Christian Horner believes that Max Verstappen is driving with an added maturity off the back of his title success in 2021.
In the earlier years of his career, Verstappen was known for taking an aggressive approach as he attempted to win races, occasionally resulting in a retirement from crashing into the barriers.
However, after beating seven-time World Champion Lewis
Hamilton to the championship in the dramatic end to the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Horner can
see that Verstappen is driving with a lot more maturity in 2022.
Horner: Verstappen’s definitely built on his experience
“He did a hell of a job last year,” Horner told the F1 Nation podcast.
“Think back to some of the
races that he drove under immense pressure. Austin stands out
to me as one of the races towards the end of the campaign.
“But again, the racing this year has been excellent, and the cars can follow a bit closer. We’ve seen that across these
eight races or nine races so far.
“So yeah, he’s definitely built on his experience
from last year, and you can see that having won that World
Championship, he’s just driving with even more maturity.”
Verstappen’s “outstanding” drive praised by Horner
Verstappen further extended his lead at the top of the World Championship standings over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, having claimed victory from pole position.
Horner was impressed by how the Dutchman handled everything.
“He has been outstanding this weekend,” the team boss said.
“I think from the first lap in FP1 [Free Practice 1], he’s led pretty much every session of the weekend.
“That race wasn’t straightforward for us, because the VSCs [Virtual Safety Cars] were probably at the worst time for him, but he made it work and [with] the pressure he was under.
“The important was we got him track position for that last sector of the race and then just huge, huge pressure after that last VSC with a very fast Ferrari behind him.”