Chris Evans makes on-air request to Christian Horner
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Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton start their decisive final battle today in one of the greatest Formula 1 seasons in history. The two will start alongside each other on the front row of the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Both go into the final race locked together on 369.5 points — only the second time this has happened since F1’s first season in 1950.
Whatever the outcome, history will be made.
Either Hamilton wins his eighth world title and becomes the F1’s most successful driver ever.
Or, Verstappen wins his first title, ushering in a new era of motor racing.
The 24-year-old Belgian has taken pole position after taking pole position in his Red Bull during Saturday’s qualifiers.
Christian Horner, the Team Principal of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, said he was pleased with Verstappen, but that a “really hard battle” was still ahead.
Horner, 48, has become known for his sharp words over the years.
In 2013, he was placed under the spotlight over his team’s orders controversy in Malaysia when his leadership was undermined by Sebastian Vettel.
He also fought his corner when leading Red Bull out of Fota (Formula 1 Teams’ Association) and opposing the Resource Restriction Agreement.
The two instances led many to question Horner’s popularity in Formula 1
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However, he said: “My job is to do the best I can for the team, to protect the team’s interest and every employee’s interests within the team, as well as the drivers.
“The success Red Bull has enjoyed over the past few years sits very uncomfortably with certain members in the paddock.
“My focus is to do the best I can for Red Bull Racing and if that means you’re not the most popular, or you’re not invited out for dinners, then I don’t care.”
Horner is known to have something of a feud with the Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
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In November, he said he had “no relationship” with the Austrian.
Throughout the F1 campaign between Hamilton and Verstappen, both drivers and bosses have clashed on numerous occasions.
Ahead of Doha’s race, Horner highlighted Wolff’s controversial words at the Brazilian Grand Prix after he said to driver Hamilton “f*** them all” over their team radio.
The Red Bull boss said: “There is no relationship.
“There is a competition.
“I was interested to hear Toto’s views after the sprint race on his team radio ‘[F*** them all].
“It’s the first time they have been challenged.
“It’s been far the most intense, political fight we have been involved in.”
Tensions only increased after Verstappen appeared to rear Hamilton off the track on lap 48 in Sao Paulo in November.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix kicks off today at 1pm.
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