Horner defends Verstappen's 'on the edge' driving


Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has defended Max Verstappen's driving but admits the 18-year-old was "on the edge" during the Belgian Grand Prix.

Verstappen has come in for criticism from Kimi Raikkonen for his defensive driving at Spa-Francorchamps, with the Finn saying he will cause "a massive accident" at some stage. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was also concerned by Verstappen's driving, saying "it's refreshing but it's dangerous", but Horner feels the Dutchman was on the right side of the robust.

"I’m surprised that Toto’s commenting on something that’s got nothing to do with him, but I think it was firm, it was on the edge, he got away with it today, the Stewards were happy with it," Horner said. "So if there were to be an issue or a conflict of any rules I’m sure Danny Sullivan’s an experienced guy, he would have called them up or Charlie Whiting would have reported it to the Stewards.

"There was no action from the Stewards, when he looked back at it, it was on the edge, and obviously he got away with it today. I'm sure he'll have a look at it and learn for future races."

Asked if he is concerned there are too many occasions Verstappen is on the edge, Horner replied: "With all of these things, what goes around comes around.

"So the drivers tend to sort these things out on the circuit, Max has pushed the limit today, he’s been right on the limit, the referee’s happy with it. So no further comments from us.

"I’m sure it was right on the edge, I’m sure he’ll have a look at it and learn from it, but it was right on the limit."

When asked if he had spoken to Verstappen following the race, Horner joked: "Yeah I told him not to tell anyone where he’s staying in Monza because I’m sure there’s some angry Italians.

"As I say, if there was a major issue with it, the Stewards would have pulled him up. We’ve seen that before, he was on the limit, he’s young, all the seriously ambitious and gifted drivers have that streak within them.

"I remember Sebastian getting criticised here a few years ago, there’s been a few other drivers as history’s demonstrated that have shown that fighting spirit, and I think that’s why it’s part of that fighting spirit which is why there’s been such a big crowd here."

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