Last year’s Monaco Grand Prix was probably the toughest weekend of Max Verstappen’s career to date, his team principal Christian Horner has said.Daniel Ricciardo won the race after Verstappen crashed during final practice, was unable to take part in qualifying, and had to start the race at the back.
“I think really if you wind the clock back 12 months it was probably the lowest weekend of his career, having a car capable of winning and crashing in FP3 and not being able to take part in qualifying,” said Horner. “That was very tough for him and I think he went away from that race and he reflected hard on it.”
Horner said Verstappen found a new level after he put the disappointment of that race behind him. “Since Montreal last year he’s really just stepped things up a gear and he’s been a phenomenal force whenever he’s been in the car.”
Verstappen is third in the championship, ahead of both Ferrari drivers, after the first five races.
“The way he started this season has been outstanding,” said Horner. “He’s overachieved in certain aspects and I think he’s got that roundedness of maturity and is very much leading the team development-wise.
“I think he’s enjoying and relishing that role as well. If you compare Max Verstappen May 23, 2019 to the equivalent time last year he’s evolved a tremendous amount and I think that’s again the benefit of experience as well.”
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