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Christian Horner

Verstappen engineer 'took mickey' out of Horner over strategy

Max Verstappen was extending the gap to Sergio Perez towards the end, but the team denied his request for another late pit stop to take fastest lap.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has revealed Max Verstappen's race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase was 'taking the mickey' over a refusal to pit for a fastest lap attempt at the end of the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman risked a pit stop at the end of the Austrian Grand Prix to set the fastest lap on the last tour of the race but had his request to do the same at Spa-Francorchamps refused, despite stretching his lead over teammate Sergio Perez to 22 seconds.

Explaining why Verstappen was not allowed to attempt the fastest lap, which was clinched by Lewis Hamilton, Horner told Sky Sports F1: "I could see what was going on and GP was taking the mickey out of me saying 'Why not?'

"We've done enough this weekend, the sprint race, a one-two finish, I didn't want to do anything to jeopardise that signing off into the summer break.

"Plus the fact that it was a pretty high marker that Max put down on what was supposed to be a gentle out-lap [after his first pit stop]."

Horner: We might not be popular with fans

Red Bull has taken every victory so far this season which has sparked some discussion over whether the team is making F1 boring as a result.

Horner says the team is focused more on extracting the most out of the car each weekend as it looks to break more records in the second half of the season.

"Twenty wins out of the last 21 [races], it's an incredible, incredible achievement," he said.

"I know it might not be popular with the fans because it's predictable, but we're just focused on trying to extract the best that we can.

"It's a very special moment for this team because it's historic, 1988 was the last time that anything like this was achieved.

"To think that we've been the team that has been able to break that, it's something we could've only dreamt about."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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