Hamilton can be "very wily" in F1 track battles, says Horner

Lewis Hamilton can be "very wily" in his approach to racing, reckons Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner.

On the back of an ill-tempered battle between Hamilton and Max Verstappen in Saudi Arabia last weekend, there has been an increased scrutiny on the different approaches between the two drivers.

For while Verstappen has been widely singled out as being more aggressive and willing to push the boundaries in wheel-to-wheel combat, Hamilton has openly talked about wanting to be the ‘purest’ of drivers.

But Horner thinks the situation is not as clear cut as that. Instead he suggests that the way Hamilton at one point pushed Verstappen wide at the final corner during their battle in Jeddah shows he too can be just as willing to take things to the limit.

Asked to counter suggestions that Verstappen is widely perceived as being the only one ready to risk contact in his approach to racing, Horner said: “I would ask you to look at Lewis' entrance into the final corner. He pushed Max off the same way.

“Any driver that's come through karting or raced in any category, you know that that is hard racing. That's how these kids have raced throughout their careers.

“Lewis is very wily with the way he does it sometimes. Just look at the last corner when he ran Max out wide there, and there was another corner as well, where he's opened the steering wheel - I think it was into Turn 1 too.

“These are two guys that are fighting over such fine margins, and pushing it to the boundary. And if you don't want them to have the ability to run wide, then put a gravel trap over there.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The fight between Hamilton and Verstappen stepped over the line at times in Jeddah, with the pair colliding at one point and penalties being handed out.

Amid such an intense rivalry, there is a high probability that tensions could escalate ever further in the Abu Dhabi finale since the title is on the line.

Horner is not too concerned about that situation, though, and say the focus will simply be on finishing ahead.

“I think it's winner takes all isn't it?,” he said. “Whoever finishes ahead is the world champion, so let's see. We've got one shot at it.

“We've got to try and beat Lewis one more time this year. The performance is with them [Mercedes] at the moment, they've won three races on the bounce. They're going to be very, very competitive in Abu Dhabi.

“With the new layout, we expected them here to have a big advantage on us [in Saudi] and we've fought hard. We've attacked the grand prix and I think that Max was outstanding all weekend.”

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo: Verstappen-Hamilton F1 title showdown a "dream scenario"
Previous article

Ricciardo: Verstappen-Hamilton F1 title showdown a "dream scenario"

Next article

2021 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix session timings and preview

2021 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix session timings and preview
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022