Horner on why Verstappen races less aggressively in 2022

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Max Verstappen is noticeably less aggressive when battling Charles Leclerc than he was when he was racing Lewis Hamilton back in 2021. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner explains what changed.

Many observers have noted how Max Verstappen is not as aggressive with Charles Leclerc as he was with Lewis Hamilton back in 2021.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the difference in Max’s approach is due to him feeling less pressure now that he has won his first F1 title.

“He’s very relaxed,” Horner explained.

“He’s still racing with the same vitality that he’s always had, but I think having that first World Championship on his CV, now having the number one on the car, in many ways releases you of pressure.”

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Horner adds the same shift was also noticeable with Sebastian Vettel when he won his first title in 2010.

“That expectation for that first title is always, obviously, very high. Now [Max] has that achieved already. We saw it with Sebastian and in many respects, it relieves pressure.

“I think he’s just continuing to evolve, continuing to develop, and you have to remember that he’s still only 24 years of age,” the Briton concluded.

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