Max Verstappen should build Red Bull F1 team around him – Horner

Max Verstappen should stay at the Red Bull Formula 1 team long term and build it around him, reckons team principal Christian Horner

Max Verstappen should build Red Bull F1 team around him – Horner

Verstappen has been linked with both Ferrari and Mercedes beyond 2018, but Horner thinks he would be better off staying put than teaming up with either Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton at Red Bull's main rivals.

"I think he can see the strength and depth of the team," Horner told Autosport.

"He feels comfortable in the team. He's the youngest grand prix winner, he's the youngest double winner, he's the youngest points scorer.

"And Lewis is pretty set at Mercedes, Seb has signed for three years at Ferrari.

"The obvious thing is to build a team around you.

"But it's down to us to provide him with a competitive car."

Horner believes Red Bull's progress from starting 2017 adrift of Mercedes and Ferrari to winning the Malaysian Grand Prix in a straight fight should make it attractive to Verstappen.

"We've put a serious amount of performance on the car, and we've outdeveloped our opposition from our starting point to being grand prix winners on merit," said Horner.

"We need to keep that trajectory going."

Verstappen has retired from seven of this season's 16 GPs and started down the order due to reliability problems and grid penalties at two others.

Horner reckons his driver deserves to be lying third in the world championship rather than his current sixth.

"The experiences that he's gone through only broaden his shoulders, and it makes you appreciate the good days like Malaysia even more when you've had tough days like a couple of weeks earlier in Singapore, or at his home race at Spa," said Horner.

"There were so many races this year when he was in a fantastic position to achieve big results.

"He's had four mechanical issues, all engine problems.

"If you look at the points lost, he should be sitting a pretty close third in the championship at the moment."

Horner praised Verstappen for his maturity in difficult circumstances.

"Credit to him that at such a young age he hasn't let frustration boil over, he's kept his head down, he's kept plugging away," he said.

"I always said, when it comes right for him, it's going to come right in a big way.

"And that's exactly what happened in Malaysia. He drove a great race there, with no issues.

"It's quite astounding that he's only just turned 20.

"Just look at the following he has in F1 now. He's one of the most, if not the most, popular driver in F1.

"He's growing in all areas. He has so little experience in car racing per se that every weekend he's learning and getting stronger.

"There's no shortcut to experience. He's now close to completing his third grand prix season, and the level he's performing at is phenomenal.

"What's exciting is what the future holds for him."

shares
comments
Brendon Hartley 'ready' for shock F1 debut after 'pretty crazy' week

Previous article

Brendon Hartley 'ready' for shock F1 debut after 'pretty crazy' week

Next article

Red Bull says recent Esso fuel gains have been worth a grid slot

Red Bull says recent Esso fuel gains have been worth a grid slot
Load comments
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021