Christian Horner took a brutal dig at Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz during the broadcast of the sprint shootout in Texas on Saturday, questioning the accuracy of his claim regarding Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
The pit lane reporter had commented on a potential issue facing Verstappen during the sprint shootout, leading the Sky Sports F1 crew to question Horner on the existence of the problem in the No.33 car’s garage.
Speaking in response to the question Horner snapped back: “Ted’s always talking… usually not out of his mouth.” This response prompted Simon Lazenby to step in, calling the Red Bull team principal’s accusation “unfair”.
Horner then went on to clarify his actual answer, stating: “There’s always things electrically you can tidy up. There’s some driveability stuff that Max wants us to tune before the race. [There was no issue] from a reliability point of view.”
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Despite the reports of an issue, there was nothing that could stop Verstappen from avenging Friday’s qualifying mishap and claiming P1 in the sprint shootout. The reigning world championship pipped rivals Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris to the top spot with all four drivers separated by just one-tenth of a second.
This will have been redemption for Verstappen who would have clinched pole position for the United States Grand Prix on Friday if it wasn’t for a track limits violation on his final flying lap of Q3. Instead, the Dutchman will have to battle back from sixth on the grid if he is to make it three wins in a row.
“We were quite competitive,” Verstappen said after sealing the pole for the sprint. “The last lap wasn’t particularly great but still on pole, so that means the car is working quite well. It’s going to be an exciting afternoon.
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“You can see a lot of different cars being very close to each other, so you don’t know what’s going to happen in the Sprint Race. It’s all going to be a bit of a question mark [with what to expect in the sprint]. Overall, normally in the race, we are quite OK. Nevertheless, this track is always quite demanding.
“Tyre management is always quite key around here. The wear is quite high because of all the high-speed corners, then you have to deal with the low-speed where you need traction. It’s going to be tough.”
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