Horner Defends 'Gracious' Verstappen After Heated Exchange With Chief Engineer

Monday, 25 March 2024 at 01:10
verstappen max redbull rbcp140
Christian Horner defended his driver, Max Verstappen, who was seen having a heated exchange with his engineer after returning from the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
After securing the third consecutive pole of the season, Max Verstappen seemed well on his way to winning his tenth consecutive race (the streak started in 2023).
The triple World Champion even had a great launch off the line once the race at Albert Park Circuit started and managed to maintain his first position throughout the opening lap.
However, it later became clear to him that something was wrong with the car, which impacted his ability to drive. After a small mistake, he was overtaken by Carlos Sainz, and just a few minutes after that, the 26-year-old's right rear brake caught on fire.
He was called into the pits to retire his car in less than a few laps. As the triple World Champion got out of the car and walked through the garage, he was caught on the camera having a heated exchange with chief engineer Paul Monaghan.
No driver would be ever happy after retiring his car from the race, but Christian Horner suggested that the 26-year-old handled it gracefully with all the mechanics. He told Sky Sports F1:

"Obviously, a driver is going to be frustrated when he gets out of a car from retirement. I think he's been very gracious with the team and all of the mechanics. It hurts everybody in the same way. It's a matter of learning from it."

The retirement in Australia is Verstappen's and Red Bull's first technical retirement since the 2022 Australian Grand Prix. Horner added:

"We've had two years with no mechanical DNFs which has been remarkable. It's a matter of understanding what caused it and learning from it and moving on."

"It's remarkable after three races that he's still leading the world championship even with that DNF but, as I say, a lot of lessons to take from today."