Verstappen's dual wins show he is 'racing machine' - Horner

IMOLA, Italy -- Red Bull boss Christian Horner feels Max Verstappen's unique double victory in real life and in a sim race over the weekend shows the type of competitor he is.

Verstappen held off a charging Lando Norris to win the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix by just 0.7s on Sunday.

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On the morning of the race, as he had on Saturday evening after taking pole position at Imola, he had taken part in his Team Redline squad's attempt to win the virtual 24 Hours of the Nürburgring.

Team Redline completed that victory shortly before Verstappen led the F1 grid away from pole position at the start of the race at Imola.

Asked whether he had any concerns about Verstappen pulling double duty, Horner said: "No, because he's basically a racing machine.

"It's quite often he's testing different setups in the evening and this type of thing. So it's not unusual for him to do that."

Verstappen did not have an easy time of it in Imola, having to hold off Norris for the final portion of the race.

On Saturday he matched Ayrton Senna's record for eight consecutive pole positions.

Horner added: "He's had a very busy weekend. I think Max this weekend, and you heard what it meant to him, the pole position yesterday, he really had to dig very deep, and the performance again today was a masterclass".

Verstappen and Red Bull had looked out of sorts at the beginning of the event, with the car looking erratic throughout Friday practice.

Horner said Verstappen's win was a credit to the entire operation the reigning world champions have at their disposal.

"It was a big dive, and that's why you must never underestimate the broader team in the factory, the simulator drivers," Horner said.

"Credit where credit is due, the essence of team is being able to respond when things aren't going well, and we managed to turn it around. If you expected this result on Friday, all of the analysis would have said no way, but we managed to turn it around and win the race."