Horner jokes he 'aged about 25 years' during Hamilton's chase

Red Bull boss Christian Horner jokes he ‘aged about 25 years’ during Lewis Hamilton’s late chase of Max Verstappen in thrilling climax to the US Grand Prix

  • Max Verstappen edged Lewis Hamilton by a very fine margin in Sunday’s race
  • The Dutchman pipped Hamilton to pole and had a six-point lead in the rankings 
  • Verstappen sits 12 points clear of the Mercedes driver with five races remaining  
  • In a dramatic climax, the Brit took seven seconds out of Verstappen’s lead

Red Bull boss Christian Horner admitted that he ‘aged about 25 years’ during the dramatic climax to the US Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen executed Red Bull’s aggressive strategy to claim his eighth win of a campaign and potentially tee up his first title as he sits 12 points ahead of rival Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton beat pole-sitter Verstappen to the opening bend but did not have the speed to pull out a significant gap.

Max Verstappen (right) edged Lewis Hamilton (left) by a second at the US Grand Prix in Texas

The Red Bull racer (left) was too strong for Hamilton despite the Briton’s lightning start

Verstappen then stole the initiative with an early stop, and while Hamilton – on younger rubber in the closing stages – took seven seconds out of the Dutchman’s lead to tee up a thrilling climax, he was unable to pose a real threat. 

Horner could only watch and hope as his driver was chased down by the Brit and he claimed the experience ‘aged him about 25 years’.  

‘I really didn’t think he was going to pull that off,’ Horner told Sky Sports, following the race in which red Bull’s Sergio Perez also grabbed third.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner (right) celebrated with third place Sergio Perez (left)

Hamilton (right) overtook Verstappen (left), who had pole, on the very first corner in Texas

But at the close the Brit never got close enough to Verstappen to really attempt an overtake

‘Lewis had eight laps newer tyres, and the first set of hard tyres that came off were pretty much down to the canvas.

‘We were thinking we’re not going to have much at the end here but Max managed that tyre in the last stint.

‘You know Lewis at the end of the race is so strong and he had gone long and got himself an advantage.

‘I think to lose in the last few laps would have been really painful but Max held on, he did a great job, managed the job really smartly and had just about enough at the end there.’

Hamilton finished 1.3 seconds behind his fierce rival Verstappen who won the US Grand Prix

Meanwhile, Verstappen appears to have a more enjoyable experience, describing the final lap as ‘fun’ and ‘exciting’.

‘Of course we lost out in the start so we had to try and do something else,’ he said.

‘The tyre wear is quite high around this track, we went aggressive and I was not sure it was going to work but the last few laps were fun. A bit sideways through the high-speed corners but super happy to hang on.

‘It was exciting. The whole race the pressure was on, not knowing how quick Lewis was going to get you. It’s incredible to win here.’ 

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