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Christian Horner

Horner: This is a massive day for Red Bull

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Max Verstappen's victory in Mexico marks a "massive day" in the championship.

Verstappen win Mexico
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To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Christian Horner has said that Max Verstappen's victory in Mexico marks a "massive day" for Red Bull in their bid to land their first title since 2013.

Verstappen's win over Lewis Hamilton puts the Dutch driver 19 points clear with four races remaining, but it was the nature of the win that pleased Horner so much.

"It's been a massive day. A fantastic drive by Max," Horner told Sky Sports F1 after the race, in which Verstappen came home 16 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

Verstappen's race was made by a lightning start that saw him jump both Mercedes into Turn 1.

"He nailed the start, he found himself a bit of space, which I was surprised that they gave him the room," added Horner.

"I have to say Valtteri [Bottas] was very fair. I thought Max had missed his braking because he was so late on the brakes at Turn 1, but he made it stick and, from there, really controlled the race. It was a very straightforward race for him.

"They'd [Mercedes] covered the inside but then, obviously, there was a knock with the McLaren. I think it was Daniel [Ricciardo] that tipped Valtteri and then Checo [Perez] had to cut the grass. But Max timed it perfectly, he got the tow and made it work. And then was able to control the race beautifully."

Horer revealed that Verstappen had practiced the braking for Turn 1 on his way to the grid.

"On the reconnaissance lap, he went out and braked right there," he said.

"So he'd almost rehearsed it in his mind what he was going to do."

Championship glory getting closer

With Red Bull in a strong position in both championships for the first time since 2013, Horner said the team are trying not to get ahead of themselves.

"There's still a long way to go," Horner said.

"There's still a lot of points available and we've just got to keep doing what we're doing. Keep attacking, keep pushing and maximise every weekend."

With Red Bull celebrating their win in the paddock at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Horner said it's testimony to their efforts that they are just a solitary point behind Mercedes at this stage.

"You can see what it means to the whole team and we've worked so hard to get into this position to be one point behind in the Constructors', [with] four [races] to go, to be 19 [points] ahead in the Drivers' [Championship] now," he commented.

Bottas pitted twice towards the end of the race to prevent Verstappen taking the fastest lap point, and Horner said the uncertainty around that point added an extra layer of excitement.

"There was a bit of messing around over the fastest lap at the end," he said, "which added to the stress!"

F1 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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