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Horner pleased with Verstappen response: 'He made short work of Hamilton'

Christian Horner praised Max Verstappen's response to the first lap battles with the Mercedes drivers, after the Dutchman fell to third on the opening lap.

Christian Horner was pleased with Max Verstappen's reaction to falling behind in the opening corners of the Australian Grand Prix. The reigning World Champion fell from Pole Position to third place in the opening three corners of the race, being overtake by Mercedes' George Russell at Turn 1, followed by the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at Turn 3. Verstappen had been particularly annoyed by Hamilton's overtake, with the Dutchman having to concede the position due to the assertive move from the Mercedes driver. However, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said he was content with the levelheadedness shown by Verstappen during the start of the race. "The two Mercedes were fast starting, they were both very aggressive on the first lap. Max showed great patience to not really get embroiled," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.com . "They [Mercedes] started having a go at each other, and then they pitted George, the red flag came out, and then it was just a straight fight between Max and Lewis, and he made very short work of that. "Then it was a question of controlling the race from that point onwards."

Perez's Melbourne charge to P5

The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez faced a much different race. The Mexican was forced to climb from the back of the grid to challenge for points, eventually finishing P5 after the chaos from the final laps. With Perez unable to recover to the same position as Verstappen managed at the Saudi Arabian GP, Horner was asked if the Albert Park track had been more of an overtaking challenge. "This is a very difficult track to overtake at, and I don't think there was that many overtakes going on up and down the field," added Horner. "Max made a pass for the lead and Checo obviously made great progress from last on the grid. This circuit, even with its DRS zones is notoriously hard to pass at."

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