Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Shanghai, 2018

Verstappen reminding Horner of Vettel’s ‘crash kid’ days

2018 Chinese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the series of incidents Max Verstappen has been involved in since the season began reminds him of Sebastian Vettel’s early career with the team.

Vettel was dubbed the “crash kid” by a rival team principal after one crash in 2010 but went on to take his first of four consecutive championship successes that season.

Verstappen has had a scruffy start to 2018 including a spin in Australia, a collision with Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain and another with Vettel in China today. He also went off while trying to pass Hamilton and lost a position to team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who went on to win the race.

“Yes he’s made some mistakes,” Horner admitted. “But I remember when Sebastian was at a similar stage in his career, it wasn’t uncommon that he also made some mistakes.”

Horner said he’d already exchanged words with Verstappen about his performance today and believes his driver will learn from the race. “I’m fully confident that he’s a phenomenal talent. He’s smart enough to recognise the areas he needs to work on and I’ve got no doubt we well address that.”

FIA race director Charlie Whiting spoke with Verstappen about his driving in 2016 following complaints from other drivers. He said he does not intend to have further words with him following today’s incident.

“I think the stewards have done their bit,” said Whiting. “I don’t think there’s any necessity to do that. I think he made a mistake which he got penalised for.”

Whiting said the two penalty points Verstappen picked up for his collision will reinforce the criticism Verstappen has received.

“There probably is a little bit of criticism but that’s what the penalty points are for,” he said. “They’re there to make a habitual offender take notice. He’s got five points now, he’s going to be more careful, I would say.”

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

Pictures: Verstappen and Vettel collide

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

85 comments on “Verstappen reminding Horner of Vettel’s ‘crash kid’ days”

  1. “There probably is a little bit of criticism but that’s what the penalty points are for,” he said. “They’re there to make a habitual offender take notice. He’s got five points now, he’s going to be more careful, I would say.”

    At least, the hope is that he’s going to be more careful. There can be some serious points heading his way this season.

    1. Aha, I liked this “I would say” as well!

    2. He should be very careful. The last Red Bull driver who drove this badly got demoted to Toro Rosso.

      Before y’all start flaming, consider in 3 races he has had a spin, contact from a questionable move, and a crash that was clearly his fault.

      Meanwhile his teammate would be contending for the WDC if his car had finished in Bahrain.

    3. Let me clarify, I know he isn’t about to get bumped down to Toro Rosso. He has too many fans and is well regarded. But I’d understand if Kyvat grumbles a little.

      1. I think Kvyat would have every right to be angry. Yes, he torpedoed Vettel in Russia, and that was definitely his fault, but that demotion to Toro Rosso was more down to intra-team politics than because Kvyat was driving poorly. Marko was just waiting for an excuse to promote Verstappen.

    4. Max admitted his mistake this time, I recognize some progress there…

  2. It’s not as though Vettel grew out of it though, as last season showed. The evidence so far is that Ricciardo’s approach wins over a season. It’s not a Vettel-Webber situation. Up to Max to prove that wrong this year.

  3. None of the criticism takes into account he made a great clean start overtaking Hamilton then got level with Lewis after the end of the safety car only to be pushed wide. That’s where things went down hill. He was faultless and quicker than his team mate until that point. He’s made his mistake on Vetell whilst trying to claw back were he should have been.

    Official highlights here

    1. +1 I was annoyed when he hit vettel but the reason he has so many incidents is because he makes so many brave moves and as an F1 fan in general I can’t be too angry with that.

      As a team boss I might have a different opinion.

      1. That move on VET may have been brave, but was the product of a poor judgement. Absolutely nothing great about it, just a Maldonado-style move = a failure. If you examine it you’ll realize it was doomed from the start. No human has the skills to make it work that way. Since no human can make that happen, the question of VER “antics” appears.

        1. He has pulled inhuman moves successfully at Monaco, Brazil, Silverstone…

          1. And I can sink baskets from half court if I take enough of them.

        2. If you look at it objectivly the move Ricciardo made on Bottas was way more agressive and accident prone then what Verstappen did. Had Bottas not backed out it would have ended in tears. Verstappen made a lot of great moves since he’s been in F1, and sometimes they will go wrong. But the same goes for Ricciardo (and every other driver), he’s going to get it wrong eventually. But thats just racing.
          Verstappen has got it wrong a couple of ties in a row now, but i’m sure he’ll bounce back. If you see the paddock pas post race interview on you can see realisation starts to sink in he does need to change something. And lets just hope he does, because when he’s on form he’s increddibily exiting to watch.

      2. Bravery should not imply crashing into other cars so often, he’s clearly doing something wrong and his teammate can show him that bravery can go well with overtaking without hitting other car.

    2. I kind of agree. In fact Hamilton showed zero respect with running his car wide, I was pretty disappointed with that driving actually in light of his recent comments, but well ok it did the job.

      It kind of levelled out though in the fact it should have been a stop go penalty (or 30seconds added at the end) in my opinion for Verstappen.

      1. I felt Verstappen did what was expected, take on the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers… after SC his head got on srewed backwards… a shame. Verstappen could not explain it himself, that was most striking for me, he just stood there saying he could not help himself overtaking as soon there just the slightest oppertunity rises. It’s like his DNA.

        Up until SC he was pretty well doing a much better job than Ricciardo who was (like often) quite invisable.
        Ricciardo did what he’s good at wait for oppertunities and benifit from that, he did great, sure he did… when will Ricciardo take the podium, or especially a win without other drivers failing in front of him. Gasly made a podium possible for RIcciardo thanks to strategy, Verstappen scrweing up made P1 possible. On merit…? some will say yes, other will be more critical.

        For sure, Verstappen though himself a lesson this race, lost a win, took a penaly and needed some humble pie

        1. VER profited that he started the race on Ultras and that VET messed up RAI and HAM’s starts. There was nothing that great about his start. Then, are you he’s learning something… cause he keeps on learning for quite some years now, only that he doesn’t show it at all. HAM outqualifying his team-mate in AUS by more than 0.5sec… that’s something great indeed and makes one wonder.

        2. You do realise Ricciardo has had the fastest car for 1 race in his entire career, and he would have won that from pole if his pitcrew had tyres for him at the pitstop.

      2. @john-h Vestappen didn’t get pushed wide. He himself explained that he lost control on the tyre rubble. That “wobble” in Hamilton trajectory seen car from Verstappen’s camera is because Verstappen oversteers out.

    3. Verstappen was give the same opportunity as Ricciardo, Verstappen stuffed it….again. Ricciardo took full advantage of the opportunity and won the race….simple isn’t it.

  4. If his name was Kyvat he’d be dropped to Toro Rosso in Baku. He’s been dreadful this season.

    1. I agree. He’s getting second chances on account of his persona as the wunderkind.

      1. And as a small detail winning races, out-qualifying one of the best qualifiers.. but hee.. that’s just details ;)

        1. @seth-space Kvyat outscored Ricciardo in their one season together but that still wasn’t enough for him was it?

          1. And how many races did he win?

          2. @seth-space the car in that season was barely more than a midfielder… So he didn’t really have many opportunities.

          3. Michael Brown (@)
            16th April 2018, 1:06

            @tflb Why did Red Bull choose Kyvat? Vergne was better.

          4. @@tflb and the first win of VER was in the best car of the field of course ;)

            Learn to accept VER is one of the top drivers and will be there for years to come.

          5. @seth-space on that particular day, yes it was, and he got spectacularly lucky on strategy. How about you learn to accept that others have different opinions to you? I’m not disputing that Verstappen has a lot of talent but I don’t think he’s as good as many claim and I certainly don’t think he has the right mentality at the moment.

          6. Atlfb

            on that particular day, yes it was, and he got spectacularly lucky on strategy.

            You obviously looked at another race.. the mercs took each other out and the Ferrari was way better. Ergo the continuous attempts of Rai to pass VER .
            The strategy.. something like Ric’s win in china you mean?
            Intelligent strategy is something other than a lucky one.

            I fully accept different opinions if they are based on facts, not the fantasy ones.

          7. @seth-space
            Vergne never scored higher of 8 place in F1. And Kvyat outperformed them in test days driving F1 car first time in his life.

          8. @regs… VER = Verstappen.

      2. His persona though does sell energy drinks and sponsor space on the car.

        1. Points don’t always tell the whole story, he said “outqualifying” ricciardo, showing to be faster than him, which verstappen does.

          Then ofc he takes more risks and so far they didn’t pay off this year.

      3. His upside looks way brighter than Kvyat. It’s not even close, that’s why it’s smart to give him a chance.

  5. I was wondering Keith if you might consider putting together a video of Max’s Greatest Hits and Misses. Maybe we could vote on the top 10 or so at the end of the season.
    Just a thought.

    1. Nice thought.. he could start a series, with Lewis there is already enough material for several episodes.

  6. I wish they’d given the same level of support to Kvyat instead of throwing him under the bus because he wasn’t fashionable enough.

    1. Good point, but Kvyat never had the pedigree of Verstappen from the junior formulae. I would like to think these decisions are based on many years of consideration.

      1. @john-h it could be argued that he did have the pedigree though, GP3 champion in a good field. I really do think that his demotion was based on his face not fitting – Red Bull are solely there as an advertising exercise of course.

        1. Now I think about it, kvyat was dreadful his later years due to the demotivation, but that came after a quick demotion after a couple of crashes.

          Verstappen has shown to be really quick, maybe kvyat wasn’t quick enough to justify the crashes?

          I think it’s right to give verstappen time, perhaps kvyat should’ve had some more races too.

          1. He just doesn’t a father to annoy everything and everyone around.

    2. PR is very important, kvyat wasn’t popular enough for him to have that cushion. And add to that verstappen was already making headlines. Kvyat certainly deserves to be racing in the grid unlike some.

      1. Kvyat certainly deserves to be racing in the grid unlike some.

        Agreed. Kvyat on his good days was way better than a stroll/hartley/sirotkin to name a few.

  7. Michael Brown (@)
    15th April 2018, 16:24

    If Verstappen hits Vettel next race, Red Bull tradition dictates that Verstappen will get replaced by a Toro Rosso driver, probably Gasly. Gasly will then win his first race with Red Bull.

    Then Gasly crashes into Vettel two years later and the cycle begins anew.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      15th April 2018, 17:16

      The interesting thing is that in 2016, when these 3 races had gone by, Kvyat had 21 points. Ricciardo had 37.

      So Kvyat had more than Verstappen when everybody said Kvyat was doing really badly. And I think Red Bull were weaker that year than they are now. Verstappen needs to have a few clean, careful races before trying any more overly risky moves. He’s cost himself so many points so far this season.

  8. That is low from Horner

    1. That is Horner

      Although a bit of truth there

    2. @pyon @johnmilk “Verstappen this”->”Yes but Vettel that”, “Ricciardo this” -> “Yes but Raikkonen that”. I like how he’s using Ferrari as a reference for everything happening in Red Bull.

  9. A team leader famous for his contradictory statements, trying to justify a dirty and malicious driver.

    1. ? He was not talking about HAM was he?
      You lost me there.

  10. It’s been coming for years… I remember being hugely impressed with the way he drove in Shanghai in his first season for Toro Rosso, when he produced several great overtakes. At the time I thought, and read a few comments along the lines of, “He’ll struggle when he comes up against drivers who don’t just dive out of the way.”

    I’m sure he’ll adapt in time, he just has a different sort of learning curve to most other drivers (usually newcomers seem to start a little timid and have to build up, whereas Verstappen started at the other end of the scale and needs to work down).

  11. I thought Hamilton was wrong for shoving VER off the track. HAM does this a lot like wht he did to ROS at US GP a few years ago. When is HAM going to be penalized?

    1. He doesn’t shove Verstappen off track. he flicks the car right a little and Verstappen panics and overreacts, going off track. If you look at the video, Hamilton leaves a lot of track for him still. Also I don’t think they even touch at that point (maybe from another angle, but if so very slight).

      1. Max lost his car because there was no grip

        1. @anunaki @david-br hey but he’s the prodigy who can drive an F1 on the snow! Come on, there was no way to pass there, just wait ’til the end of a straight.

        2. Check the video, Lewis moves or drifts right slightly and Max switches right violently to avoid contact – it’s that rapid input (overreaction) that sends him off.

    2. Perhaps Hamilton didn’t get penalized because he didn’t do anything wrong?

      It just looks like Hamilton moves right because Verstappen loses control on the rubble. Tail slides out and his car camera pans left. ie that makes it look like Hamilton moves right. He didn’t. He couldn’t even because he’s already driving on the limit.

      Verstappen blamed himself for that incident while he rarely takes any blame.

      BTW he also didn;t do anything wrong when he kept the racing line and Rosberg insisted on no yielding in a lost position. That was just dumb driving fom Rosberg. Or rather a political statement to Wolff. Rosberg never drove that stupid against other drivers.

      Hamilton made the same play a few times too. In the end it just costs them more places than simply yielding.

    3. Lewis knows he’s dealing with an impetuous, impulsive kid and does what a reasonable adult does – hangs tough. And Verskrashen does what he he always does because he can’t help himself. Maybe after Danny beats him this year he’ll understand why.

      1. @greenflag also, champions like Hamilton or Alonso know how to resist an overtake with a slower car. Lewis simply thow some experience in Verstappen’s face.

        Haven’t heard of “Verskrashen” before, here we call him “Versbatten” (sbattere -> to smash) :D

        1. sure. just re-watch Hamilton’s first 4 years in F1

    4. Ver just hit marbles that’s all.

  12. Vettel was called “crash kid” once by one of the championship rivals because he was a strong contender for the championship and the fact that he had a crash here and there gave the guy an excuse to call him that, not because he kept crashing race after race after race. At the time Vettel probably couldn’t even go 3 races in a row without getting dogged by reliability or operational issues unlike Verstappen’s year so far lol. The same championship rivals were also churning out gossip year after year about how Vettel could drive for their team next year to unsettle him lol. Not really comparable and Horner probably knows that…

    1. There’s no way Verstappen is a Championship contender.

      1. Your crystal ball needs some rubbing i guess.

        1. @seth-space I would agree with you but we’re not before Australia, the season has started and at the moment I’m placing him on par with Kimi. Not impossible, but very unlikely.

          1. @m-bagattini Got to be hinest, I’m disappointed. The pace and hunger to win is there, but I really thought there were signs of maturity last year after the sandwich incident with the Ferraris. He’s gone back to making poor decisions, though, the Vettel punt the worst of a bad portfolio. I really thought he’d be a challenge this season.

  13. The difference between Vettel’s early days and Verstappen’s is we kinda expect Max to make contact with other cars. After the Safety Car and pitstops we kinda knew that the incidents were gonna happen. Great race today btw Daniel showed his strengths, he held his composure and did a wonderful job and not once did he bump anyone.

    1. Great drive from RIC indeed.

      Bottas did avoid him though. Not saying the overtake was bad but it helps a lot if the other party moves away

  14. Mr. Horner
    Sorry but how many years have Verstappen been in formula 1?
    I must ask how much money do Redbull get in from Holland..?
    Everyone here talk about pay drivers and that nobody wants them but when looking at Verstappen why is that egoist and incompetent driver in F1?
    He must pay good Otherwise way would a team swallow a 1-2 victory for me that is not understandable.

    1. Sorry. VER sealed his place on the team with that miracle drive in Brasil a few years ago. It is easier to make a driver a little slower and more humble, than to make a slow driver fast. ( in alonso’s case, put him in a Honda)

    2. Verstappen makes mistakes (more this season than last I have to say) but he’s really fast, pay drivers typically don’t have the speed.

      Palmer, stroll, sirotkin, all 1 sec off their team mate, sirotkin being similar to stroll is another case given how stroll compared to massa.

      1. @esploratore to avoid comparisons between a slow paying driver and a fast talented one, Williams hired two of the first kind

        1. Ahah, indeed! Sadly now the car looks slower than last year unless they take into consideration they have way off the pace drivers.

      2. It is like in fotball, money roles if you’re from a country with a lot of commercial income for the team you’re will get a good car. If not you have to pay your own salary. It is only this way you can get a competitive car. You’re right pay drivers are slower but only because they have no competitive car.
        If all had the same performance in their car I don’t believe it would be even close to the same standing in F1

  15. Even Maldonado was not involved in incidents so regularly!!

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      16th April 2018, 9:33

      Possibly not this close togeather, but over a season, he was involved in more. But then we don’t know yet when verstappen will get over this. If he is desperate to get points he’s missed out on, his silly risks may continue. But I think he just needs to calm down.

  16. I am thinking… RbR has Gasly in junior team. Oh wait he crashed aswell…

    Same corner similar accident..

  17. How come Kvyat didnt remind Horner of the same? At the time, Jos and Max just wanted to throw one driver out and get into RBR and Kvyat became the scapegoat! Hypocrisy at its very best!

  18. I expect Versteppen will start seeing more aggressive defences when trying to pass his competitors. Hamilton proved that yesterday.
    Up to this point it has been a one way street with VES – he seems to try to “bull” competitors out of the way, regardless of their tenure. Thus Hamilton’s statement last week that VES “has no respect.”
    There are many drivers he has irritated other than HAM such as RAI (Ves rule), RIC, who he ran into at Hungary, VET etc.
    Maybe he doesn’t know about the “tit for tat” principle or karma. Hopefully someone can reach him.

  19. Yawn at the witch-hunt whilst far stupider moves are celebrated in Indy Car

    and short memories….

  20. You can find some similar Schumacher incidents as well. Or Senna, Vettel, Hamilton, Hill, etc

    Drivers are human and make mistakes at split second decisions

  21. I worked this day so I didn’t see tre race. However I did hear that VES passed Ham three times during the race.

Comments are closed.