Christian Horner says Abu Dhabi GP fury went ‘completely over Verstappen’s head’

Max Verstappen was completely unfazed by the fallout after winning the Formula 1 world drivers' championship for the first time.

That's according to Red Bull chief Christian Horner, who has revealed that the furore surrounding the way the title was decided at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix went "completely over his head".

Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to earn his maiden F1 crown, but was most likely only able to do so thanks to some questionable decisions from race director Michael Masi.

The Australian allowed the lapped drivers between the two title rivals to overtake the safety car, and fast-tracked the yellow flag process so racing could resume for that final lap.

Mercedes were left fuming and the incident is still a hot topic of debate now, with Hamilton recently revealing that he gave some serious thought to retirement over the whole affair.

While the Briton was clearly affected over the winter, Horner has claimed that Verstappen has barely given the circumstances a second thought since becoming champion.

"I think it's gone completely over his head," he said, before telling BBC Breakfast: "He doesn't watch the BBC.

"He was delighted to get that first world championship, against such a strong opponent. I think that's what made it so intense."

Last year's two title-chasers are expected to renew their rivalry this season, as they are the two bookies' favourites to finish at the top of the pile in 2022.

Horner is anticipating another close scrap between them, but has warned there may be one or two others who enter the conversation to make races even more interesting.

"I think the rivalry between those two [Max and Lewis] has been so intense," he added. "I think you might see a couple of other drivers come into that fray as well.

"It was epic last year and if that continues I think there's going to be some fantastic races next season.

"The sport has never had so much coverage and so much support – it's great to see."

Red Bull will get more of a sense of where their cars are at compared to their rivals at testing in Sakhir this week, before the season kicks off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.

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