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Horner loves the “phenomenal” rivalry between Verstappen and Leclerc and speaks of “respect” for Ferrari after Mercedes hostility

RED BULL boss Christian Horner raves about the rivalry between the “fantastic young drivers” Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen, 24, snatched a dramatic late win from his colleague in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix On Sunday.

Max Verstappen took the win in Saudi Arabia while Ferrari boys Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished second and third

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Max Verstappen took the win in Saudi Arabia while Ferrari boys Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished second and thirdCredit: EPA
Leclerc struggled with Verstappen until the reigning champion showed his class in the final laps

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Leclerc struggled with Verstappen until the reigning champion showed his class in the final lapsPhoto credit: Rex

It was a repeat of the excitement we’ve seen this season Opening race in Bahrain when the Dutchman traded punches Leclerc.

Verstappen initially took the lead on lap 43 before Leclerc regained P1 a few corners later.

There was a repeat on the following lap as both swapped positions. It was fair, respectful and had everyone in their seats.

And the team boss Horner spoke with Sky Sports about the budding rivalry.

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He said: “I think what you’re looking at here are two fantastic young drivers who have probably raced each other since they were about 10 or 11, going head-to-head in two very competitive Formula 1 cars.

“The racing in those first two races was phenomenal.

“You can see there is respect between the two and these cars seem easier to follow and race with.

“The rehearsal from the first two races was really exciting.”

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The couple were born less than a month apart.

And Verstappen has revealed how he finally got past Leclerc to keep the pressure on F1 Table leaders – with some “Clever tricks in the last corner”.

Ferrari are back in the game and everyone seems to be lapping the battle between them and Red Bull at the front of the grid.

Horner added: “Driving a Ferrari is always a little different.

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“They are such a long-standing team in Formula One and it may not be some of the animosity that has grown between our other rivals.

“They are a great team, they have great drivers.

“Mercedes will be back on its feet soon, I have no doubt about that.

“We have to focus on ourselves and keep developing and developing this car.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/motorsport/18117874/horner-phenomenal-verstappen-leclerc-rivalry-ferrari/ Horner loves the “phenomenal” rivalry between Verstappen and Leclerc and speaks of “respect” for Ferrari after Mercedes hostility

Ashley

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