Max Verstappen is having fun with probably the most dominant of Formulation One seasons, however Crimson Bull group boss Christian Horner reckons the double world champion nonetheless deserves extra recognition.
The 25-year-old took a file 14th win of the season in Mexico Metropolis on Sunday and has now scored extra factors in a single marketing campaign (416) than anybody ever, breaking Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 file of 413.
Even when seasons now have extra races, with modified scoring programs, quickest laps and sprints including to the factors accessible, Verstappen and Crimson Bull have undeniably raised the bar this yr.
The group have received the previous 9 races and 16 of 20, their best haul but in a single championship, and secured each titles for the primary time since 2013.
There are nonetheless two extra races remaining to push the boundaries even additional.
“We are literally witnessing one thing very particular. And I generally suppose that his achievements maybe do not obtain the plaudits that they need to,” Horner informed reporters after the race on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
“I feel really what we have witnessed this yr is a completely excellent efficiency from a driver who may be very a lot on the high of his recreation.”
There isn’t a query Verstappen will get kudos at house within the Netherlands, simply as teammate Sergio Pérez does in Mexico, however the sport has grow to be more and more polarised because it grows in reputation with new audiences.
Social media, as Verstappen noticed on Sunday evening, has grow to be “a really poisonous place” populated by “keyboard warriors” far faraway from the racetrack.
“He is received probably the most grands prix in a yr now, inside 20 races, on high of that he is received two dash races and he isn’t received all of them from pole place,” Horner noticed.
“He is needed to struggle and race for lots of these victories. After we look again on the finish of the yr, it’s a completely excellent yr that Max has pushed. He hasn’t put a wheel improper; he is been good all through the season.
“It has been unbelievable, the extent of consistency that he has been in a position to obtain.”
Verstappen’s first title in 2021 got here amid controversy within the season-ending race, with a late change within the security automotive process permitting him to overtake Hamilton on the final lap for victory.
There was no such suspense this yr, with Verstappen wrapping up the title with 4 races to spare, however the group’s breach of the finances cap final yr has nonetheless allowed some to query their achievement.
That clearly rankles, with Verstappen and Horner displaying their sensitivity by refusing to speak to Sky tv over the Mexico weekend after a pit lane reporter referred to Hamilton being ‘robbed’ final yr.
“Accusations of championships being robbed is one thing we do not really feel is an neutral commentary. … Max may be very upset about it, and as a group we help him totally,” Horner mentioned.