Christian Horner makes Sebastian Vettel claim about Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has eclipsed several of Sebastian Vettel's records this season on his way to a third title with Red Bull.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted that Max Verstappen is “matching and exceeding” everything that Sebastian Vettel achieved whilst racing for the Austrians, ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

Verstappen has enjoyed yet another dominant campaign, which saw him claim his third consecutive Drivers’ Championship at the recent Qatar Grand Prix.

He now sits just one title behind the four that Vettel achieved in consecutive seasons at Red Bull, from 2010-2013.

However, the Dutchman has effectively smashed every other record the retired F1 driver broke whilst racing for the Milton Keynes-based team, highlighting his brilliance.

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Back at the start of the season, Verstappen eclipsed Vettel’s 38 wins for Red Bull, with the 26-year-old now sitting on 49 career victories, all of which he’s claimed at the Austrians.

In fact, the Dutchman is just four wins away from matching the German’s 53 career victories, something he could do at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Should Verstappen win all five remaining races this year, then he’ll end 2023 on 54 career wins and move into third on the all-time winners list.

Verstappen even broke Vettel’s 2013 record for nine consecutive wins, with the reigning World Champion having gone on a 10-race winning streak this campaign, which was ended by Carlos Sainz in Singapore.

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When the Dutch driver claims a fourth title for Red Bull, then he’ll be the most successful Red Bull driver in virtually every department.

Horner recognises that team have “worked with some greats” over the years but he rates Verstappen as a “phenomenal talent”.

“We’ve worked with some greats,” Horner told Standard Sport. “Seb [Vettel] was an outstanding talent with the four world titles in a row he managed to achieve. It’s a similar level of dominance with what Max is doing.

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“He’s a phenomenal talent to work with. With everything he’s achieving, Max is absolutely matching and exceeding what Sebastian was able to achieve.”

“Horner later added: He’s just a racing machine. He’s immensely talented, but it’s not just about the natural talent, but also the mental strength that he has.

“To deliver at high-pressure moments, in and out laps, changing conditions, racecraft, decisive moments when they matter and being able to read the race. He’s always one step ahead and without [making] mistakes.”