Christian Horner makes feelings clear on Max Verstappen row after nightmare at Australian Grand Prix

Christian Horner makes feelings clear on Max Verstappen row after nightmare at Australian Grand Prix

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Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 24/03/2024

- 11:32

The 26-year-old was unable to finish the race Down Under

Christian Horner has defended Max Verstappen after the 26-year-old rowed with a mechanic following his DNF at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman went into the day looking to continue his excellent form, having won the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively.

But Verstappen was forced out of the race within the first three laps following a break fire.

After his withdrawal, the 26-year-old could be seen having a furious chat with a Red Bull mechanic. He appeared to call something 'stupid' while tempers flared.

Christian Horner

Christian Horner has shrugged off Max Verstappen's row with a Red Bull mechanic at the Australian Grand Prix


Yet Horner thinks Verstappen was merely 'frustrated' and understands the anger of the Red Bull star, while also shielding the racer from criticism over his behaviour.

"Obviously, a driver is going to be frustrated when he gets out of a car from a retirement," he explained.

"I think he's been very gracious with the team and all of the mechanics.

"It hurts everybody in the same way. It's a matter of learning from it.

"We've had two years with no mechanical DNFs which has been remarkable.

"It's a matter of understanding what caused it and learning from it and moving on.

"It's remarkable after three races that he's still leading the championship even with that DNF but, as I say, a lot of lessons to take from today."

Verstappen was also asked about the row.

And the Dutchman shrugged off the incident by saying: "That was related to us doing a pitstop while the car was on fire.

"I was like, 'Why are we doing a pit stop?'"

While it was a nightmare day for Verstappen, it was a positive day at the office for Carlos Sainz Jr.

The Ferrari star, who is being replaced by Lewis Hamilton next season, won the race just two weeks after undergoing surgery on his appendix.

And Sainz revealed he could 'barely move' prior to boarding his flight to Melbourne.

"Now, you ask me, nine days ago, when I was about to catch the flight to come to Australia, I was still in bed," he said.

"Barely I could use my abdominal to move. And I was like, this is not going to happen.


Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen had a row with a Red Bull mechanic at the Australian Grand Prix


"But I took the flight, and suddenly when I landed in Australia, the feeling was a lot better.

"And every 24 hours, I was making a lot more progress than the first seven days, which is actually what all the doctors and all the professional people told me."

He added: "As soon as I got my appendix removed, I went on the internet and started talking with professionals and said, 'okay, what helps to speed up recovery?'

"And obviously from that point onwards, I started doing all the sort of things that you can do to speed up recovery, the wounds, the scar tissue, what you can help to be faster on that, talking to other athletes, talking to other doctors in Spain, internationally. And then I put together a plan with my team.

"The reason why athletes recover faster is because you can dedicate 24 hours per day for seven days to recovery. And that's exactly what I did.

Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz Jr was delighted after winning the third race of the season in Australia


"I started going to hyperbaric chambers twice a day for one hour, taking an Indiba machine, that is an electromagnetic thing for the wounds.

"I was programming my time in bed, my time to go for a walk, my time to eat, the kind of food that you have to recover.

"Just everything is centred around recovery to try to be ready for Australia."

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