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Max Verstappen: Boos for Red Bull driver like 'water off a duck's back' says Christian Horner after United States GP

Max Verstappen picked up a hard-fought 50th win of his F1 career but didn't get a friendly reception on the podium at the United States GP; watch every session from the Mexico City GP this weekend live on Sky Sports F1, beginning on Friday

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Max Verstappen was booed on the podium as he celebrated his 50th race victory in Austin

Christian Horner has described any booing for Max Verstappen as "water off a duck's back" after he was jeered by fans at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.

Verstappen took his 50th F1 win to go one behind Alain Prost, who is fourth on the all-time winners rankings, and his third consecutive victory at the Circuit of The Americas.

However, he was booed as he lifted his trophy up by some of the spectators in Austin, a venue where Mexico's Sergio Perez, Verstappen's team-mate, has traditionally had strong support.

Asked about the booing ahead of this week's Mexico City GP, Horner said: "I don't think Max is going to get the warmest reception in Mexico! But that's water off a duck's back. One year you are the villain, the next year you are the hero."

It was far from an easy race for Verstappen as he nursed a brake issue from the opening lap and crossed the line only 2.2 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who was disqualified along with Charles Leclerc due to excessive plank wear.

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Highlights from the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas

Verstappen was still able to make big moves on Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris though on his way to a record-equalling victory number 15 of 2023.

"We changed the brakes after yesterday [Saturday] and it was not good. I had no good feeling under braking and I couldn't really get on top of it for the whole race, so this is something we need to understand," he told Sky Sports F1.

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"Of course, around here when you are not very confident under braking, you just don't have the nice feeling under braking when you come off it. It can cost you quite a bit of lap time and it was a bit more difficult than I expected it to be. I normally never really struggle with braking so far in my F1 career, but it was definitely a bit of a problem."

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Ted Kravitz is in the paddock to review all the biggest stories from the 2023 United States Grand Prix

Verstappen comfortably undercut Hamilton at the first round of pit stops as Mercedes, perhaps wrongly, went long with their driver.

He chased down Norris on the mediums in the second stint and overtook him at the halfway point of the race. The Dutchman says his pace was a lot closer to the others compared to other races and he was not as confident compared to normal.

"Once I was in the lead, I think the gap was OK. But with a few laps ago there was some backmarkers and my tyres were not feeling that great," said Verstappen.

"The hard tyre was not very good today [Sunday]. But I think the gap was just big enough and not too many laps left."

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Max Verstappen catches Lando Norris by surprise by diving down the inside on Turn 12, taking the lead of the United States GP

Horner: Verstappen and Lambiase's 'marital bliss' continues

Verstappen also had some fiery team radio exchanges with his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, known as GP, during the race in Austin.

The 26-year-old, who has a very straight-talking relationship with Lambiase, repeatedly told him to not speak in the braking zones.

Lambiase said on the radio he would see Verstappen on Friday - when practice for the Mexico City Grand Prix begins live on Sky Sports F1 - which Horner explained.

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Max Verstappen was heard raging on the team radio after having issues with his braking

"There marital bliss continues! Max is complaining about his brakes and GP is asking about his front wing offset," said Horner.

"GP was always scheduled to go back to the UK after this race, so that's why he had a plane to catch, which is why he said 'see you on Friday'."

Verstappen added: "We still won the race and that's the most important thing. When you are struggling under braking and not that confident, I politely asked to not be spoken to. I said please when I asked!"

F1 heads straight to Mexico for the middle leg of the Americas triple header. Watch the whole Mexico City Grand Prix weekend live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday, with Sunday's race at 8pm. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW

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