Christian Horner jokingly promises Nicholas Latifi a lifetime supply of Red Bull
'He’ll be getting a lifetime supply of Red Bull for sure.'
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has jokingly promised Williams driver Nicholas Latifi a lifetime supply of Red Bull after his crash ultimately allowed Max Verstappen to win the Formula One world championship.
Verstappen eased past title rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the Dutchman benefitted from a late safety car that bunched up the chasing pack.
Hamilton looked destined to win the title and become the most successful driver in the history of the sport until Latifi crashed into the barriers late into the race.
Horner revealed that he was 'screaming' at race director Michael Masi to allow Verstappen a chance to overtake Hamilton as it appeared that the race at Yas Marina could have ended behind a safety car.
The race stewards initially stated that any lapped cars would not be allowed to overtake, before reversing the decision and informing the lapped cars that they needed to pass the safety car.
The Dutchman opted to put for a set of soft tyres, whereas Hamilton was racing on a used set.
When the decision was made to allowed lapped cars to be overtaken, the Brit was always going to struggle to fend off Verstappen, who raced away to secure a maiden world title.
Speaking after the race, Horner joked that Latifi would receive a lifetime supply of Red Bull for the part he played in Verstappen's victory.
"He’ll be getting a lifetime supply of Red Bull for sure," Horner said to Channel 4 when asked about Latifi.
"We needed something from the racing gods in the last 10 laps," he added on Sky Sports.
"Thank you Nicholas Latifi for that safety car. I have to say with the stewards…they did great to get the race going again.
"We were screaming at him (Masi) ‘let them race’. It has been an insane competition and for Max to win the world championship – it is not just about here.
"I have to say all credit to Lewis, he has been a phenomenal opponent all year, he is a great champion and that is what makes it even more valid to win this."
Mercedes launched two appeals after the race, one against Verstappen for allegedly overtaking under a safety car and a second claiming a breach of rules regarding race restarts following a safety car period.
However, both were dismissed by race stewards, with the Mercedes later lodging an intention to appeal the verdict of the second protest dismal, which relates to the Safety Car protocol.
- Hamilton’s brother slams FIA as a ‘disgrace to the sport’ after Verstappen clinches title
- Calls for F1 race director Michael Masi to be fired grow amid Verstappen Hamilton controversy
- Mercedes lodge intention to appeal verdict of the second protest dismissal