Christian Horner denies Formula One is ‘boring’ with Max Verstappen’s dominance

By Sports Desk April 22, 2024

Christian Horner has knocked back criticism that Max Verstappen’s stranglehold on Formula One is “boring” by describing his star driver’s unstoppable form as a “golden moment”.

Verstappen claimed his fourth win from the five rounds so far this season with a commanding drive at Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix to establish a 25-point championship lead.

The Dutch driver has failed to triumph at only two of the last 23 races staged in the sport, and he is the overwhelming favourite to secure a fourth world crown in as many seasons.

Speaking prior to Sunday’s race, Lando Norris, who finished runner-up to Verstappen in Shanghai, admitted that seeing the “same driver win without a fight is boring”, and a “turn-off” for fans.

But addressing claims that Verstappen’s dominance is damaging the sport, Red Bull team principal Horner said: “You have to appreciate success. Max is a special talent and this is a golden moment for him.

“As we have seen with every single driver in the past, it doesn’t last forever. It is about enjoying the moment and being in the moment and there are no guarantees we can give him a car like this for the next five years.

“Max is just a metronome. The pace he showed last year, he has continued that through.

“And since the last Chinese Grand Prix in 2019, he has won 50 per cent of all the races. He has won 21 out of the last 23 races. He is in fantastic form, at one with the car and the team and enjoying his racing.”

Verstappen also won the first sprint round of the season in Shanghai.

The dash to the chequered flag took place before qualifying for Sunday’s main event in a rejig this year.

Verstappen, 26, has often criticised the format, and although he agreed the new schedule is better than in previous years, he urged F1 bosses not to increase the number of sprints – which is set at six this season.

“The sprint format was more straightforward that it has been but let’s not overdo it,” said the triple world champion.

“We are already doing 24 races in a season and six of these sprint events, too. I guess it sells better and the television audience numbers increase, but it also increases the pressure on the mechanics to ensure everything is tip-top.

“So, we have to deal with it, but let’s not now think that we need 12 of these (sprints) because it will take its toll on people in the sport.”

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