Christian Horner makes Tyson Fury comparison after epic Max Verstappen-Lando Norris duel

Red Bull has compared Max Verstappen's head-to-head battle with Lando Norris to Tyson Fury's heavyweight fight from last night.

Pole sitter Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in qualifying parc ferme with Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren. Formula 1 World
Pole sitter Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in qualifying parc ferme…

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner has likened Max Verstappen’s duel with Lando Norris at the Emilia Romagna Prix to Tyson Fury’s heavyweight fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

The sporting world was captivated on Saturday night by an epic Boxing fight between Fury and Usyk, with the latter coming out on top to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.

24 hours later, the battle for the win in F1 at Imola went down to the final lap, with Verstappen beating Norris by just 0.7s.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Horner compared the battle for the victory tonight to last night’s heavyweight clash.

“He was pushed hard by Lando,” he said. “Two guys at the top of the game going hard, like Tyson Fury in the bout last night! Fantastic racing.

“The pole to match Senna’s record… the stint on his simulator last night, he won the Nurburgring 24 Hours which he’s very proud of! If he crashed, it wasn’t going to hurt! He did a couple of hours this morning, as well. Then drove an incredible race, this afternoon.”

Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, Race
Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7,…

Verstappen controlled the race during the first stint, building a six-second lead over Norris.

However, the McLaren driver came alive in the closing laps, moving to within a second heading into Lap 63.

Horner conceded that Verstappen was put under “massive pressure” by Norris, with his efforts not aided by the fact he had three strikes for track limits.

“Massive pressure because he’d had three strikes with track limits,” he added. “He couldn’t afford to put a millimetre wrong, with all that pressure.

“A great, great job by Max withstanding the pressure. Lando was coming hard at the end of the race.

“It was a race of two halves for us. The first half was very strong, we built a 7-8s lead. The second half of the last stint, Lando started to really catch us quickly.”

Verstappen “at the top of his game”

It’s back-to-back races where McLaren have arguably been quicker than Red Bull over a distance.

Horner hailed the work of test driver Sebastien Buemi for his set up work on the simulator while heaping praise on Verstappen.

“Everything has to come together. We came on the back foot on Friday,” he explained.

“The team worked really long hours. Sebastian Buemi did a great job on the simulator into the early hours of Saturday morning.

“We made a step forward in P3. Max got an incredible pole. We managed to convert it. Max had to be at the top of his game.”

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