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

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Adam Cooper
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021