For many, it was a matter of waiting to see how Verstappen would fare in the battle for the world title. The Dutchman had competed for the karting title in the past, but in Formula 1 there is more pressure. In his column for Red Bull Horner waxes lyrical about his pupil.
Verstappen in his first title fight
"Make no mistake, fighting for your first F1 title is an intense moment in your racing career, but the maturity Max has shown throughout the campaign has been extremely impressive," says the Brit. Horner sees that Verstappen is hardly affected by the criticism he sometimes receives and the pressure he has to perform under on a weekly basis.
"He’s relaxed and dealing with the pressure incredibly well, I think he is driving better than ever. A good example of this was during the race in Qatar, when he did not feel we could catch Lewis, but commented over the radio that he “wanted to have some fun”. Max is plain-speaking and he calls it how he sees it. He doesn't work with a sports psychologist; it is just how he copes with it'', Horner concludes.