Hamilton received praise by Horner in 2021 for his “dignity” and “respect”

In 2021, Max Verstappen won the world championship for the first time following an incredible conclusion. Christian Horner, the manager of the Red Bull team, remains extremely respectful of Lewis Hamilton’s attitude after he controversially lost out on an eighth championship.
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen engaged in a close duel in 2021. Before the last race in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen and Hamilton were perfectly equal because Mercedes and Red Bull did not give each other an inch on or off the track.

Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the result. Before Nicholas Latifi’s accident in the final stages, which required the deployment of a safety car, Hamilton was on his way to win his seventh World Championship. A one-lap shootout resulted from race director Michael Masi’s decision to remove the cars that had a lap difference between Verstappen and Hamilton.

Verstappen passed his competitor at Turn 4 after stopping for softs, unlike Hamilton. He won his first Formula One title by holding onto the lead for the remaining time of the lap.

Verstappen’s accomplishment might already be matched by Hamilton in 2021, according to Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner.

According to Horner, “that season was a heavyweight bout from the first race in Bahrain to the last race in Abu Dhabi,” as he stated on the Sound of Success podcast.

“That was two drivers and two teams that raised themselves to probably levels they didn’t know they had. For us to go into that final race, tied on points with Mercedes with Lewis was a huge achievement.

“I got the whole team together before the race and spoke to them all and said ‘Guys, whatever happens today, we’ve had an incredible journey to get to where we are today and what will happen today will will happen but the most important thing is to go out there that we give our best and we enjoy it.’

“‘Embrace your nerves because you’re all going to be nervous, that pitstop becomes more important than it’s ever been. But through the work and effort, it’s not just about today, it’s everything that you’ve done that 21 races preceding that that’s put us in this position. So let’s go out there, give it everything.'”

Horner is respectful of Hamilton

Horner shares that the outcome could have been drastically different: “For a long part of the race. Things didn’t look like they were going our way.

“But we took risks with pitstops and strategy, took an attacking route as opposed to a defensive route, because we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Verstappen would ultimately win the race after overtaking a frustrated Hamilton in the penultimate lap. Horner was quite appreciative of the British person’s response when they came out to express their congratulations him following the race.

“I felt the way that Lewis handled that disappointment after the race, hats off to him because again, he would have been even more disappointed,” said Horner.

“Record breaking World Championship has just disappeared, but he handled himself with dignity and respect.

“I shook his hand in the drivers room after the race, and he had the good grace to say well done.”

Horner believes Mercedes should have been more considerate to Hamilton during the Safety Car, given the amount of laps he already done on his set of tyres.

“A lot is made about the final lap, but Mercedes went into that race and they were quicker than us in the Grand Prix,” said Horner.

“Lewis was able to manage the gap to Max pretty comfortably. But then they went very defensive, they went very conservative, and they left Lewis out on a set of tyres that were 43 laps old.

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F1, F1 2024, FIA, Formula 1, Christian Horner, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

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