Christian Horner makes U-turn as Red Bull feel the heat after Yuki Tsunoda incident

Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes social media “exploited” his comments about Yuki Tsunoda after blaming the Japanese driver for hampering Max Verstappen’s chances of pole at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The AlphaTauri driver was caught in a tricky situation after attempting to get out of the way of Sergio Perez in the final part of qualifying.

With limited options, Tsunoda decided to run across the grass to give the Red Bull space, kicking up dust onto the track and distracting Perez, who made a mistake and ran wide.

Verstappen was next on track but was unaware of what had happened and slowed down as a precaution which hampered his final flying lap.

The Dutchman was heard saying “dumb idiot” across the radio before later admitting that he had no idea who was on track, but Horner told the media that Red Bull had been “Tsunoda-ed”, with Perez adding he felt the rookie was “in my way”.

Mercedes led the way in their support on social media, replying to the Japanese driver’s tweet saying: “Keep your head up, Yuki. Don’t let the haters get you down.”

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But Mercedes tweet gathered traction, with many fans feeling Red Bull’s reaction had been uncalled for.

Tsunoda was told about the reaction on social media and added: “I was expecting a bit of the opposite so I was not watching too much social media.

“But I’m happy to hear that, even though I ruined the lap for the national driver.

“Like I said [on Saturday], it was the only place to go. I did my best to not stop him. It is what it is.

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