'that's Max For You!' Verstappen Praised For Withstanding 'massive Pressure' To Win Imola Epic

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thats max for you verstappen praised for withstanding massive pressure to win imola epic

Relieved Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hailed the determination and talent of Max Verstappen on Sunday after he resisted Lando Norris to claim a hard-earned triumph at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Horner admitted that it was Verstappen's supreme ability that enabled him to hang on under great pressure from the McLaren driver and win by a mere 0.725 seconds.

READ | Verstappen wins Imola epic after Norris final-lap showdown

'It was a great, great job by Max to withstand all that pressure,' said Horner after the race at Imola. 'It was massive pressure.'

Verstappen had appeared to be cruising to victory with a controlled lead of more than six seconds until the closing laps when his friend and rival Norris, fresh from his maiden victory at the Miami Grand Prix two weeks earlier, mounted a charge.

'I had Lando closing in so the last 10 laps were just flat out and it was very difficult, when the tyres aren't working anymore, and you have to go flat out,' admitted the three-time champion and series leader.

'I couldn't afford to make too many mistakes and, luckily, we didn't so I'm super happy to win here today.

'We changed a lot on the car, we didn't have a lot of information going into the race and maybe that's why the hard tyres were a bit more difficult for us.

'I think from where we started the weekend to now, we can be incredibly pleased with a pole and a win - so I will take that.'

Horner added: 'It was a race of two halves for us. The first half was very strong, but the second half of that last stint, Lando started to catch us very quickly.'

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: 'The cars are converging after the latest upgrades, they are looking very similar. McLaren were very quick at this circuit and Ferrari as well.'

Horner added that the defending champion had, remarkably, also won a 'virtual' Nurburgring 24-Hours race in which he took part during his own time on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

'That's Max for you!' he said.

Verstappen's fifth win of the season and 59th of his career lifted him to 161 points ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on 113 and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, third on 107.