Christian Horner backs Max Verstappen over crash fears after Lewis Hamilton ‘crazy’ dig


Christian Horner has addressed suggestions that Max Verstappen would be willing to ram title rival Lewis Hamilton off the road in Abu Dhabi in order to win his maiden F1 title

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Hamilton v Verstappen: Their careers in numbers

Christian Horner has dismissed Lewis Hamilton ‘s sensational claim that Max Verstappen is “f***ing crazy” and insisted his star racer will not aim to win the title by taking out his rival this weekend.

Verstappen and Hamilton head into Abu Dhabi exactly level on points, setting up a thrilling climax to the current season.

That came as a result of the Mercedes star’s win in Saudi Arabia, which came after the pair made contact moments after the Red Bull man had pulled off an illegal manoeuvre.

As well as his “crazy” jibe, Hamilton described Verstappen as “dangerous” and later claimed the Dutchman is one of the most “over the top” racers he has ever come across.

While the scores are level in the drivers’ standings, Verstappen has the slight advantage of having won one more race than his rival. That means he wins the title if they score the same amount of points in Abu Dhabi.

That has led to speculation that he would consider causing a crash which would take both drivers out of the race if he felt it was required to ensure he stays ahead.

But Horner has laughed off any such suggestion and backed his star man to be fair as he tries to win his maiden world title.

“He’s certainly not crazy,” the Red Bull team principal told The Times . Max wants to win this championship on the track. It’s as simple as that.

“He’s a hard racer but a fair racer, and I expect no different this weekend. Nobody wants to win this championship in a gravel trap or in a stewards’ inquiry.

To finish first, first you’ve got to finish. That’s been our mantra throughout this season.Remember, it wasn’t Max who crashed into Lewis at Silverstone. The stewards found Lewis guilty of driving into Max.

“They’ve both had their moments this year. Inevitably the reverse was found at Monza. They’ve been hard races.

“They’ve gone wheel to wheel. But I think, for all the fans, you want to see a fair and clean fight in this last round and may the best team and best driver win.”

Verstappen’s father Jos, a former F1 racer himself, also said he doesn’t believe his son would ram Hamilton off the road in search of glory.

He did back Max to “do everything” short of that, though, warning the Mercedes ace that he should not expect an easy ride in Sunday’s finale.

“Max absolutely wants to win. He will definitely go for it. He will clearly try to beat him. He will do everything to get the win, that’s for sure. It will be exciting,” he told the Daily Mail.