Red Bull F1 boss Horner: Verstappen stronger driver after setbacks

Max Verstappen's recent frustrating spell of retirements have made him a stronger and more composed driver, his Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner believes

Red Bull F1 boss Horner: Verstappen stronger driver after setbacks

Verstappen has endured a frustrating first half of the 2017 season and has retired from five of 10 grands prix, including a run of two finishes from the past six races.

While two of those four were the result of collisions, reliability issues have also cost the Dutchman likely podium finishes, including a potential victory in Azerbaijan before his engine failed.

But while that situation has frustrated Verstappen, Horner said those failures had improved his driver's resolve.

"I think he has shown tremendous maturity, to be honest with you," said Horner.

"He's had a flair of emotion at the time, but very quickly he's got himself under control and focused on the next event.

"The way he's driving this season, he's just getting stronger and stronger.

"It's been a bit of character building for him.

"I think he'll come out the other side a stronger person with this being a difficult part in his very short career so far. But he has dealt with it very, very well.

"He hasn't been spitting his dummy or throwing his toys out of the pram.

"He's had his moment at the race, which is understandable, and then very quickly, boom, focused on the next event. His work ethic is very strong."

Horner thinks 19-year-old Verstappen deserves particular praise for the way he has responded to his setbacks given his age.

"He's 19, he's 20 later this year. It's often easy to forget that this is a guy that can't even rent a hire car here," he said.

"He should have only just finished his education before going to university.

"So for somebody so young, the way he's handled all the pressure [is impressive given] the expectation and now the interest particularly in his home country, which follows him around the world.

"You've only got to look at the contingent of Dutch fans at Silverstone over the weekend and particularly in Austria just over a week ago.

"And I'm sure Spa is going to be nuts as well this year. It's impressive how he deals with that interest."

Verstappen's run of retirements ended at the British Grand Prix as he finished fourth, and Horner hoped that would act as a good starting base to build on in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

"It was pleasing to see him take the chequered flag [at Silverstone] because the last three races, he's been in great positions and in all three [previous] races and it hasn't gone his way," said Horner.

"Now we need to start to keep building on that.

"Hungary represents hopefully a chance of a good result for us so we need to build on what we achieved over the [Silverstone] weekend."

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