Christian Horner talks about why they played the song on radio to Max Verstappen after F1 Brazil GP win, as he adds on Lando Norris’ push.
Post the win in F1 Brazil GP, where Red Bull’s Verstappen broke Alberto Ascari’s record of highest percentage of race wins – which stood at 75% from 1952 – in a season, to have currently 77.27% with two more races to go, Red Bull played a special song on the radio.
In Qatar, Red Bull team boss Horner came to know about Verstappen’s favourite song which was Tom Jones’ Green, Green Grass. It was Jos who told him about it as the Verstappen Sr would play that on a daily basis after the Dutchman’s kart races.
Since then, it has become Verstappen’s go-to song and so Horner asked Red Bull communications’ head Paul Smith to play that song on the radio via his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, which they duly did and the Dutchman sang along too.
“We learned something else about Max, that when he used to head back from the kart races, his father used to play Tom Jones tracks over and over again,” said Horner. “So I managed to put on Tom Hones’ Green, Green Grass of Home. It was Radio Red Bull and he was singing along quite merrily.
“I’ve got no idea why a 26-year-old would pick ‘Green, Green Grass‘. It was the most unlikely song I thought. But Jos told me in Qatar. I asked him ‘What is his favourite song?’, and I was going to see if Paul can play it. And he went ‘Green, Green Grass’ by Tom Jones.
“I was thinking, obviously after the Spice Girls, that he would be totally into Ed Sheeran, or somebody contemporary of his age. But no, Tom Jones,” summed up Horner, who was relieved for a good result for both Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
While the Dutchman had is slightly easy with the minimal fight against Norris, the Mexican went deep against Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. Horner noted about the ‘cat and mouse’ games between Verstappen and Norris, but the Dutchman had it under control.
“I think there was definitely a race,” said Horner. “Lando took his best set of tyres at the start and his best shot was probably off the line. So, I was relieved to see Max keep the lead at the end of the first lap. But then it becomes a game of cat and mouse, because it’s about looking after the tyres and not stressing them too much.
“You are telling the driver look after the tyres, but pull out a gap – and the tow here is pretty powerful. But just like in the sprint, he managed it incredibly well and was able to start to pull a gap. We then pitted on the same lap as Lando, and we actually extended the lead through the pitstop to just over five seconds.
“Then, on the medium, he had everything under control in the last stint. In the end it was reasonably straightforward, but McLaren definitely have been, over the last few races, our closest competitor,” summed up Horner.
Here’s Christian Horner on Sergio Perez’s performance
Here’s Max Verstappen and Lando Norris on their mini fight
Here’s details on Haas’ right to review where Red Bull has been summoned
Here’s Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso on P3 battle
Here’s link to a F1 Discord channel, join in to interact