“Just about sums up this year, I think,” said Horner afterwards. “I called it on a commentary that it was gonna need some from racing gods in the last 10 laps. And thank you, Nicholas Latifi, for that safety car!”
When informed of Mercedes protest, he said: “We’re disappointed there’s been a protest, but we trust the FIA”
“I have to say with the stewards we felt hard done, early in the race, but they did great to get the race going again.
“It’s been an insane competition and for Max to win the world championship. It’s not just about here. It’s about a whole year.”
Horner also paid tribute to Hamilton, was has fought a vicious and sometimes controversial title fight with Verstappen all year long.
“I have to say, look, all credit to Lewis. He’s been a phenomenal opponent all year, a great world champion, and that’s what makes it even more valid to win this.”
Asked about his interaction with Masi towards the end of the race, he said:
“I was screaming at him: ‘Let them race, that’s what we’ve been talking about all these years, let them race.
“This championship came down to the last lap and a great strategy call, to make that pit stop, to take that set of soft – so then it was down to Max to make it happen.”
Commenting on Masi’s decision, he said: “It’s unheard of to leave the cars unlapped – you can see they wanted to get the race going again. But they don’t need to catch up the back of the pack, so they [the FIA] made absolutely the right call, difficult circumstances for the stewards who we were all putting pressure on.
“They called it right, I’m just so proud of Max so proud of the team for what we’ve been through this year, what we’ve achieved.”