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Horner on US GP pitstop: 'We made life difficult for Verstappen'

Max Verstappen had to comeback following a slow pitstop during the US Grand Prix to secure the Constructors' Championship for Red Bull. But team boss Christian Horner admits they didn't make it easy for him.

Much like his drives at the Hungaroring and Spa Francorchamps, Max Verstappen had to make a comeback to win the United States Grand Prix. Even though it wasn't from as far back as those races, the Dutchman still had to contend with a fast Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton after a slow final pit stop cost him valuable time and places. Despite the teams rare mistake in the pits, Team Principal Christian Horner still managed to enjoy Verstappen's drive to victory. "Max drove a very controlled race, but then everything suddenly came to life during the second pit stop, which failed. We had chosen the medium tires because in our opinion they were the better tires," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.com . "He lost close to about eight seconds as a result which put him behind Charles and had to close that gap to Lewis. "It was almost as if it had been scripted, for him to have to come back through the field. I think Dietrich [Mateschitz] would have quite enjoyed that race from above to see us overtaking Mercedes with five or six laps to go and win the Constructors' World Championship."

Verstappen more competitive on Mediums

It wasn't an easy victory for Verstappen. After the Safety Car period he was one the slower Hard tyre, which had its warm up issues along with the strong winds. Having to contend with these issues meant Verstappen didn't increase the gap as he ideally wanted, which enabled Hamilton to undercut him in the pits. "On the Medium tyres we were more competitive than on the Hard, that was why we went back to the Medium after the second pit stop. "Max's pace at the back end of that stop was then strong enough to really take it to Lewis who looked like he was sliding the car is pushing the car very hard. "So it was a game of patience and I think Max was able to quickly get his frustration under control leaving the pit lane and not cook the tyres. [He could] make the pass on Charles and then hunt down Lewis, and the one opportunity he had was decisive and got the job done."

Red Bull thought the worst with 10 laps to go

Horner admits that he thought Hamilton might just have the edge with 10 laps to go, given the stalemate that was taking place up front before Verstappen eventually reeled him in. "With 10 laps to go I'm not sure it would have been the result that we would have all hoped for. If we'd have finished second in the race today," Horner said. "Max had a determination going into the race and he would go for it no matter what. We made his life difficult for him today, we made it more entertaining for the crowd! "In the end he did it in the best possible way. To win the Grand Prix and to seal that Constructors' Championship was very special for us as a team, as a company. "To also do it on the weekend when we've lost Dietrich, we would like to dedicate this championship to him, his family and everything they have done not just for Red Bull, but also Formula 1."

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