Christian Horner praises ‘straightforward, binary’ Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen excels as a Formula 1 driver because he is “straightforward” to work with, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has revealed.

The 24-year-old is competing with Lewis Hamilton for the world championship this year and trails the Mercedes driver by just two points with seven races of the season to go.

Verstappen and Horner have worked together since 2016 and this season represents their best chance to win the team’s first championship, either in drivers or constructors, since 2013.

Horner has praised Verstappen for the “openness” and “honesty” he brings to their working relationship, which has put Red Bull in title contention ahead of the closing stages of the campaign.

“Max is probably one of the most straightforward drivers I’ve worked with because he’s binary in his approach,” Horner told Channel 4. “He appreciates absolute openness and honesty. He doesn’t give a lot away to the public, he’s quite a private individual.

“And I think when you actually spend time with him and you get to know the real Max Verstappen, he’s just a really nice young guy and totally passionate about his racing. But he’s super-hungry and so motivated, I don’t think I’ve ever met a driver so motivated. So in terms of working with him, managing him, you just sit down and have an open conversation and he will listen. He may have a differing opinion, but by the end of it you always converge to a solution. And he never takes anything away, nothing festers. You deal with it, move on.”

With the title race between Verstappen and Hamilton set to go down to the wire, Horner has warned the seven-time world champion to not engage with any mind games with the young Dutchman as he is “cold” to them.

Horner said: “We still have seven races and we need a lot of points for both drivers to be able to catch up.

“Max has the ability to deal with the pressure. He is not distracted by anything, the psychological games leave him cold.”

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