F1 title showdown like Squid Game, says Christian Horner

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Red Bull boss Christian Horner likened Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's tense title battle to hit Netflix series Squid Game.

Verstappen and Hamilton are level on points ahead of the deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend. Red Bull also trails Mercedes by 28 points in the constructors' championship.

Horner said the title decider felt like the popular show, which features two contestants fighting to the death in the final episode to win.

"There is as feeling of excitement, it has been tense, frustrating on occasions, we have pushed the limited, pushed each other and pushed our competitors and here we are at the final race for the showdown," Horner said ahead of Sunday's race.

"It almost feels like Squid Game that we have ended up here on equal points."

Horner and his Mercedes counterpart have exchanged bitter verbal shots this year, but shook hands during a fairly cordial press conference on Friday evening.

Horner said it is not unusual for both of them to have had opposing views.

"I will defend my team, I will defend my drivers, to the hilt - because that's what you do, that's who you represent, that's who you look to protect," Horner said.

"It would be for me, a very artificial to sit here or throughout the season and be all smiles with your biggest competitor. For me, I can't do that, because that wouldn't be being true. It wouldn't be being honest.

"Of course, emotions boil over. We're in a competitive sport. And I think that's Formula 1. It shows the intensity of the competition, the intensity between the teams. It's given you guys something to write about.

He then joked to Wolff, sat to his right: "I think it's just been honest more than anything, and for me it would be totally fake to sit here and say how much we love each other and are going to go on holiday after this weekend -- because I'm not going on holiday with you after this race!"