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Horner Draws Fury Comparison in Verstappen-Norris Showdown at Emilia Romagna Prix



Christian Horner Draws Parallel Between Max Verstappen-Lando Norris Clash and Tyson Fury's Recent Bout

Red Bull's Christian Horner likened the intense on-track rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris to the dramatic heavyweight bout featuring Tyson Fury that took place the previous night.

Christian Horner, the team principal for Red Bull Racing in Formula 1, has compared Max Verstappen's battle with Lando Norris during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to the boxing match between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk in the heavyweight division.

On Saturday evening, the sports community was enthralled by a monumental Boxing match between Fury and Usyk, where Usyk emerged victorious, claiming the title of the undisputed heavyweight champion.

A day after it began, the fight for first place in the F1 race at Imola came to a climax on the last lap, with Verstappen narrowly edging out Norris by a mere 0.7 seconds.

In a conversation with Sky Sports F1 following the race, Horner likened today's fight for the win to the previous night's significant boxing match.

"He faced strong competition from Lando," he commented. "Both competitors, at their peak, going at it intensely, reminiscent of Tyson Fury's fight the previous night! Exceptional racing."

"Securing a pole position that equaled Senna’s achievement… he spent the previous evening on his simulator, where he triumphed in the Nurburgring 24 Hours, a victory he holds in high regard! The advantage of the simulator is that crashing carries no risk of injury! He also put in a few hours of practice this morning. Following that, he delivered an outstanding performance in today’s race."

Verstappen dominated the early part of the race, establishing a six-second advantage ahead of Norris.

Yet, in the final laps, the McLaren racer gained momentum, closing the gap to within a second as they entered Lap 63.

Horner acknowledged that Verstappen faced "tremendous stress" from Norris, and his situation was compounded by having three penalties for exceeding track boundaries.

"He was under immense pressure after crossing the track limits three times," he continued. "He couldn't risk a single mistake, given the intense pressure he was facing.

"Max did an outstanding job holding off the pressure. Towards the race's conclusion, Lando was aggressively pushing."

"Our performance was a tale of two contrasting segments. Initially, we had a solid lead, managing to be ahead by 7-8 seconds. However, during the latter part of the final stretch, Lando began to close in on us at a rapid pace."

Verstappen Showcases Peak Performance

In consecutive races, McLaren has demonstrated superior pace over Red Bull throughout the race duration.

Horner commended test driver Sebastien Buemi for his setup contributions in the simulator, while also lavishing admiration on Verstappen.

"All elements need to align. We started at a disadvantage on Friday," he detailed.

The team put in extended hours of work. Sebastian Buemi performed exceptionally well on the simulator, continuing into the early hours of Saturday morning.

"We progressed in P3. Max secured an exceptional pole position. We succeeded in capitalizing on it. Max needed to perform at his best."

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