Horner backs ‘gladiator’ Verstappen and ready for ‘straight-out fight’ for F1 title

Verstappen finished second in an action-packed debut race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit despite being hit with two time penalties totalling 15 seconds. Verstappen was handed a five-second penalty after gaining an advantage by leaving the track and was hauled in front of the stewards, along with Hamilton, to explain how the latter had crashed into the back of the Red Bull on lap 37. “I don’t know what Lewis was doing because Max was trying to give the place up as instructed by race control, he lifted and you can hear that, it was clear we were trying to give the place up and we’d informed race control.”. “I don’t know if Lewis didn’t want to pass before the DRS zone, but it was very strange to have him drive straight up the back of Max,” he added. “Winning the race, in such a dramatic way, I think Lewis deserved it,” he said. “We could have been out a few times with a broken front wing – it was a spectacular race, if not necessarily a good one.

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