Max Verstappen will 'get stronger and stronger', says Red Bull's Christian Horner

Team principal tells Graham Caygill Dutchman will evolve to become a force to reckon with in Formula One

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 24:  Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 24, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
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Christian Horner has warned the rest of Formula One that the best of Max Verstappen is yet to come.

The Dutch driver is one of the in-form drivers in F1 at present, having won two of the past five races for Red Bull Racing.

Ahead of the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Horner, the Red Bull team principal, told The National in the Yas Marina Circuit paddock: "I think he will continue to evolve and grow as he gains more experience.

“I think he is going to get stronger and stronger.”

The 20-year-old driver has broken a number of records since becoming the youngest driver to compete in F1 at the age of 17 with Toro Rosso in 2015.

He became the sport’s youngest winner at the Spanish Grand Prix on his debut for Red Bull last year when he triumphed at the age of 18 years and 228 days.

Despite a string of mechanical problems in the first half of this season, Verstappen has bounced back to be sixth in the drivers’ championship ahead of Sunday’s race, with the highlights being his wins in Malaysia and Mexico.

Referring to Verstappen’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who triumphed in Azerbaijan in June, he added: “It is exciting to be working with a talent like Max and I think we are lucky with the two drivers we have.

“For me we have the best driver pairing on the grid.”

As to Red Bull’s chances of winning in Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2013, Horner says his team are well poised to mount a serious challenge to world champion Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes-GP team, as well as Ferrari.

“We are keen to finish the season on a high. It has been a good last third of the year for us,” he said.

“This track, certainly in qualifying will be a tough one, but on race day we should hopefully, if we can be reliable, have a competitive race car.”


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