Horner: Verstappen has upset the establishment

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Verstappen had a breakout season.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen has upset the establishment in F1 following his promotion this year.

Verstappen was handed a Red Bull race seat after the Russian Grand Prix, with Daniil Kvyat demoted to Toro Rosso after causing multiple collisions at the start of his home race.

Verstappen duly won in Barcelona and has been a threat in a number of races, with his defensive driving coming under criticism at times from the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers.

However, Horner believes the negative comments are a result of Verstappen emerging as a new threat to those chasing wins and championships, but has been impressed by the way the teenager has ignored his critics.

“I don’t really understand what they are moaning about,” Horner said. “He is doing a great job and driving the wheels off the car and he is racing hard.

“When sometimes a new guy comes along and upsets the establishment a bit then they do get a bit of criticism. He is not rising to that. He is keeping his head down and enjoying his racing.

Anything that de-stabilises an established pecking order is always not well received.

“I don’t think he has done anything wrong. He has raced hard, he is exciting and giving it everything every time he is in the car, and he loves what he is doing. He is passionate about it.”

Verstappen’s approach won him two awards at the FIA Prize Giving this month, with the Red Bull driver winning Action of the Year for his move on Nico Rosberg in Brazil, and also Personality of the Year.

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Renault targeting best engine power

F1i 11/12/2016
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Renault are targeting big things.

After a dismal 2015 season where poor engine and reliability brought Renault and partners Red Bull to the very brink of separation, the Milton Keynes-based outfit harnessed its improved power unit to bounce back this year, securing one pole position, two wins and another 14 podiums.

More importantly, Renault showed perfect reliability when its engine rivals suffered a few hiccups, including Mercedes, whose power plant has been ruling the roost in the latest V6 1.6-litre turbocharged era.

“Our biggest achievement was our progress on the engine side,” Abiteboul said during the Renault Sport Series Awards Ceremony in Paris. “We have emerged from a situation where performance and reliability was poor to have the most reliable unit in the field.”

“We don’t have the most power yet but we have planned several significant steps to further improve our package and make it the best engine as early as 2018.”

Renault team principal Frédéric Vasseur said last month that the French constructor is working on a “100% new” power unit for next season, which has been made possible by the scrapping of the much-maligned engine development token system.

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In numbers: Rosberg's career

F1i 8/12/2016
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While Mercedes gets to work compiling a shortlist of the drivers available to replace the German in 2017, F1i put Rosberg’s career into context with the stats from his 11 seasons in F1.

From this, it makes it easier to consider Rosberg’s all-time standing in the game and crucially where he ranks alongside other past world champions in the sport.

Where does the 31-year-old rank for you?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

So, let’s start with the big one…

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

1 (2016)

Equal 16th on the all-time list

GRAND PRIX VICTORIES

23 (First: 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, Last: 2016 Japanese Grand Prix)

Equal 12th on the all-time list

POLE POSITIONS

30 (First: 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, Last: 2016 Japanese Grand Prix)

8th on the all-time list

FASTEST LAPS

20 (First: 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, Last: 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix)

14th on the all-time list

#BestOf #AbuDhabiGP 🇦🇪 Song: Niklas Ahlström - Flavors 📸 by @paulripke

A video posted by NICO ROSBERG (@nicorosberg) on

POLE, FASTEST LAP, LED EVERY LAP

(First: 2016 Russian Grand Prix, Last: 2016 European Grand Prix)

Equal 9th on the all-time list

PODIUMS

57 (First: 2008 Australian Grand Prix, Last: 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix)

12th on the all-time list

POINTS

1594.5 (First: 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, Last: 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix)

4th on the all-time list*

RACE STARTS

206 (First: 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, Last: 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix)

14th on the all-time list

missed out on posting my last podium jump!! #latergram #AbuDhabiGP

A photo posted by NICO ROSBERG (@nicorosberg) on

OTHER RECORDS 

9 – Number of wins in one season (2016)

Equal 8th on the all-time list

7 – Consecutive wins (2015 Mexican Grand Prix – 2016 Russian Grand Prix)

Equal 2nd on the all-time list

4 – Consecutive wins from the start of a season (2016)

Equal 3rd on the all-time list

6 – Consecutive pole positions (2015 Japanese Grand Prix – 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix)

Equal 6th on the all-time list

11 – Pole positions in a season (2014)

Equal 7th on the all-time list

– Wins from pole position in a season (2016)

Equal 9th on the all-time list

60 – Front row starts

6th on the all-time list

111 – Races before first win (2012 Chinese Grand Prix)

5th on the all-time list

1533 – Laps led

12th on the all-time list

7 – Races led every lap

Equal 8th on the all-time list

55 – Races led for at least one lap

Equal 10th on the all-time list

*Current drivers aided by new points system introduced in 2010

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