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Red Bull's Horner: Verstappen has been 'over-eager' early in season

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen has looked "over-eager" in the early stages of the 2018 Formula 1 season

Verstappen has been embroiled in a series of incidents, culminating in his part in a collision with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo that put both Red Bulls out of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Horner has backed Verstappen to bounce back from his difficult start to the year, during which the 20-year-old has notched up a fifth and a sixth place and two retirements.

"Ultimately, he will emerge the other side of this, the most important thing is to learn from mistakes," Horner told Autosport.

"The start of this season has been tough for him, in many cases it's looked like he's over-eager.

"I'm extremely confident that he will learn from and recognise his mistakes."

Why it's crunch time for Verstappen

Horner has confirmed Red Bull will not change its policy of having no number one and number two driver, and is determined to re-sign out-of-contract Daniel Ricciardo for 2019.

He believes Verstappen will learn from the example set by Ricciardo, who has had a clean season other than being held jointly responsible for the Baku collision by both the team and the FIA stewards.

"The other thing he benefits from, or will benefit from, is that his team-mate is very polished and the finished article and obviously at a different stage in his development," said Horner.

"I think he can and will learn a lot of lessons from Daniel because, even after the incident in Azerbaijan, there is a respect that he has for him.

"Daniel provides a very good and rounded benchmark there."

Horner has also paid tribute to the way both Verstappen and Ricciardo have conducted themselves in the wake of the Azerbaijan GP collision.

The pair apologised in person at the Red Bull factory on Wednesday last week, and have remained on good terms.

"They stood in front of the staff and apologised and they spoke very openly," said Horner.

"We've had a discussion in my office about the incident and they will talk in private about it in order to learn from it.

"Both drivers handled the aftermath to Baku in an exemplary manner, in the way they dealt with the media, they've come here and stood in front of every employee and apologised.

"The best way for them to make up for that is by delivering on track."

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