Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has showered praise on Max Verstappen for his excellent qualifying lap for the 2023 F1 Japanese GP on Saturday (September 23). The Dutchman topped the charts in Q3 with his mind-blowing lap time of 1:28:877, which is half a second up on Oscar Piastri, who ended up in P2.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Horner initially stated how special Max Verstappen's lap time was, especially in the first sector. He asked the F1 presenters to have a look at the Turn 5 sector, calling it "mighty" from the Red Bull star.
"I think what we have witnessed today is something very special. That last lap, when you get Ant [Davidson] on his magic board, just have a look at Turn 5. That first sector was absolutely mighty."
Furthermore, he revealed a funny story about how Gianpiero Lambiase, Max Verstappen's engineer, asked for an even faster lap time. At that point, the Red Bull team principal had to chip in and humorously say that he wants to see all four tires on the car after the lap, since going any faster could result in tire failure.
Overall, Horner was extremely impressed with the two-time world champion's pace in the Japanese GP qualifying and stated that his performance was "mind-blowing."
"GP (Verstappen's engineer Gianpiero Lambiase) started winding him up before his last run, 'Let's see a 28 in there,' and I said to GP, 'I would like to see four wheels on the car at the end of it.'
"That first run looked good enough to get the job done but then he went quicker again. All his laps have been stunning today. An absolutely mind-blowing performance."
Sebastian Vettel supports Max Verstappen's dominance in Formula 1
Sebastian Vettel recently praised Max Verstappen's unprecedented run in F1 as he continues to dominate and win almost every race in 2023. Speaking to Martin Brundle in an interview with Sky Sports, the four-time world champion said:
"People say he's got a dominant car. He might, he might have, you know he has a very good car but also for the team, you know the job they're pulling off every weekend. It's incredible. And you see other drivers, they're just not as consistent. I mean, everybody should get up and applaud."
"I know that people don't like to see the same guy winning and so on, it was, you know, with Michael was like that and you know, with Lewis, and myself for a short time, and now with Max. But, you cannot appreciate the excellence enough," he added.
Though Sebastian Vettel, of course, understands that fans can be bored of seeing the same driver win races, he urged people to appreciate excellence.