Christian Horner revealed that Red Bull will try and keep Max Verstappen within a team bubble in Zandvoort to help him focus away from the noise as well as manage expectations.
The Dutch Grand Prix, Verstappen’s home race has become an annual celebration of the 2021 Formula 1 Champion by the legions of the Orange Army, expected to flood the circuit in Zandvoort in support of their national hero.
But with that comes the risk of distraction and extra pressure of expectations, something the Dutchman handled well last year as he went on to win the race from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner doesn’t see the current advantage the team and their star driver hold this season, especially after their dominant showing in Spa last weekend as a reason to relax.
“I think you have to keep the pressure on because as soon as you don’t, you start making mistakes,” he said. “So we will approach Zandvoort with exactly the same discipline that we have done every grand prix this year.”
No additional activities for Verstappen in Zandvoort
As for Verstappen’s workload, Horner said: “There are no additional activities for Max compared to a standard grand prix weekend.
“Of course, there will be an awful lot of noise around the circuit but we will try to keep him within a bubble inside the team to try to manage expectations,” he revealed.
Verstappen predicted he will not be as dominant in Zandvoort, and his boss seems to share his point of view, saying: “Zandvoort will probably be a bigger challenge [than Spa] for the new directive because it’s bumpy, it’s bouncy there.
“It’s probably more akin in layout to Budapest so Ferrari and potentially Mercedes could come back into the fray there,” he warned.
“It’s just a different type of challenge but obviously, there’s going to be a huge expectation on Max as he returns there as the world champion and with the number one on his car.
“We saw the reaction last year and I think it’s only going to step up again this year,” the Briton concluded.
A fresh take on a historic design 🇳🇱 360 views of @Max33Verstappen‘s lid for the #DutchGP 🧡 pic.twitter.com/9Jirn3zLFG
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) August 30, 2022