‘This might get a bit fruity’ – Horner’s comments to Verstappen before British GP crash

Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton collided on the opening lap of last year's British Grand Prix in a massively controversial moment.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had a word of advice for Max Verstappen ahead of the British Grand Prix last year in a prediction that turned out to be absolutely correct.

Verstappen had just claimed his fifth pole of the 2021 season by winning the inaugural sprint event on the Saturday at Silverstone, but Sir Lewis Hamilton got ahead of him on the opening lap following a tremendous lap, as the title rivals squabbled for track position.

They then came together at Copse corner, leading to a nasty collision with the barrier for the Dutchman, leading to some questionable celebrations from some of Hamilton’s perhaps exuberant home support.

Thankfully, the 24-year-old was able to clamber out of the car and went to hospital for a check-up, but the incident was indicative of the manner in which both of them had approached one another on track all season – with unrelenting aggression.

Before the astonishing events all unfolded, Horner was on the grid speaking with Verstappen ahead of lights out, and told him: “I suspect this might get a bit fruity.”

This was preceded by comments about the seven-time world champion’s fighting mentality as the 48-year-old affirmed that a driver does not become a seven-time world champion by backing out.

“Lewis is a ruthless racer,” he said.

“You don’t become a seven-time world champion without that killer instinct, he will use everything in his armoury.”

A member of the Mercedes garage saw the benefit of the Hasselt-born racer’s grand prix culminating in the wall.

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“It is exactly the right lesson for Max to learn, otherwise everyone always backs out for him,” they were heard saying on season four of Drive to Survive on Netflix.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reinforced his counterpart’s point that Hamilton’s mindset will always spur him on to fight.

“They were side by side and he [Verstappen] didn’t give him room. Lewis was not there to bail out,” he said on the docuseries.

“A driver needs to be a lion in the car and Lewis is a fighter.

“Even if he gets knocked down he is going to fight back and he will always wait for his moment.”