Championship contenders Verstappen and Hamilton crashed out of the Italian Grand Prix while battling for position at the first chicane midway through the 14th round of the 2021 season at Monza.

It marked the second major collision between the pair following a high-speed crash at Silverstone. In the aftermath of their latest clash, Hamilton indicated Verstappen is never willing to back down in wheel-to-wheel combat.

Hamilton has yielded position on multiple occasions this season to avoid full-blown contact with Verstappen in response to the Red Bull driver launching a series of aggressive attacks, most notably at Turn 1 at Imola and Barcelona.

The seven-time world champion also took to the escape road to avoid a collision with Verstappen on the opening lap of the Italian GP, prior to their race-ending coming together.

But Horner believes Verstappen has shown he is prepared to back out when necessary and does not expect his driver to change his approach amid their intense title fight. 

“Of course we always review every incident and look it very carefully and you always think ‘could I have done anything different or anything better?’” said Horner.

“I think Max is always very open to that. He’s extremely self-critical and you are always learning, but he’s a hard racer. It’s part of his characteristics, it’s part of why he has the following that he does.

“You know that when he is in the car he is going to give 110%. I think that also has an impact on the driver that he’s racing, because they just know that he is going to just go for it.

“Of course there has to be measure and I think at the right time he has shown that measure, in different different races even that we’ve seen this year.

“But it’s part of the character that he is, that he’s an attacking driver, it’s part of his make-up and I don’t think that’s going to change.”

Following their Monza collision, three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart claimed Verstappen needs to grow up if he is to become a world champion.

“I always respect Sir Jackie’s opinion but I think Max has shown great maturity this year,” Horner said when asked for a response to Stewart’s comments.

“And of course, you’re always evolving, you’re always learning. I’m sure Sir Jackie made a few mistakes in his time. That’s the journey of life, you learn from every experience.

“I think when you see the progression from a 17-year-old when he came into Formula 1 to the driver he is today, it’s pretty impressive.”

Horner also dismissed Hamilton’s suggestion on Thursday that Verstappen could be affected by the pressure of finding himself in a proper title fight for the first time in his career.

“I don’t see any change in him at all,” Horner added. “I think Max is a young guy, he’s going for it and he’s got nothing to lose. He’s not sitting there with a bunch of world championships defending the title, he’s the challenger.

“And I think that’s the way he’s attacking this championship and when you see the pressure he was under with the home crowd in Zandvoort - you don’t get bigger pressure than that. I think the way that he handed that in particular was truly impressive.

“He’s just really enjoying and relishing battle and it’s been a long, long time that we’ve been in a position like this. Of course that’s exciting for him, it’s exciting for and motivating for the whole team.”