Christian Horner has hit back at Toto Wolff after the Mercedes motorsport boss called his driver a “kid” and questioned his maturity.
Speaking of Canada’ Lance Stroll, who is in the Williams squad as a development driver, Wolff stated that the 17-year-old shows more maturity than Red Bull’s teenage racer.
He told Motorsport.com: “He [Stroll] is also working extremely hard. The intelligence and his maturity are really outstanding. I never saw that with a 17-year-old.
“For example, Max Verstappen acts more like a teenager. In the car, he’s extremely good, but when you interact with him, he’s a kid. But with Lance, his maturity is very surprising.”
Horner has defended his drivers.
The Red Bull boss not only cited his Spanish GP race winner’s ability to bounce back after a wretched Monaco Grand Prix but also the manner in which he kept Nico Rosberg behind him through the latter stages of Sunday’s Canadian GP.
While Verstappen did not put a wheel wrong in their tussle, Rosberg’s efforts to pass the 18-year-old ended in a spin.
“I think he [Verstappen] has shown great mental strength, to be honest with you,” Horner told Motorsport.com.
“Monaco was a tough weekend for him, but the way he has bounced back here, the confidence he has had, throwing the car around, was great.
“It was a pretty mature drive for somebody that Mr Wolff said was not quite as mature as he thought.
“He looked pretty mature to me when he was fending off his very experienced mature driver.”
Enjoy the full experience of the 2016 FIA Formula One season on FOX Sports Play, where you can catch LIVE races from angles unseen before, exclusive interviews, behind the scenes, in-depth analysis and so much more. Don’t miss it!