Horner sees ‘exciting times ahead’ for Verstappen

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes that Max Verstappen’s ongoing development as a driver ensures that “exciting times” await the Dutchman in the future.

Verstappen took Formula 1 by storm when he stepped up to the pinnacle of motorsport with Toro Rosso in 2015 and became at 17 the youngest driver to start a Grand Prix.

But the teenager immediately built on his remarkable momentum, winning his first F1 race in 2016 – with Red Bull Racing – at a record 18 years and 228 days.

Since, Verstappen has added eight more race win to his credentials. But Mercedes’ hegemony in F1 since the advent of the hybrid era and Red Bull’s inability to mount a continued challenge against its German rival has kept Verstappen’s insatiable title ambitions form being fulfilled.

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But Horner insists his star driver’s time will come.

“Is there more to come from Max? Look, I think just as he gains experience he’s just maturing as a driver,” Horner said.

“He’s only just literally turned 23 years of age, but he’s got a significant amount of races behind him now and he’s just growing and growing.

“You can see that maturity in the car, in his racing and I think there’s exciting times ahead of him.”

However, it remains to be seen if Max will experience those “exciting times” with Red Bull, or with another team, a legitimate question given Honda’s decision to leave F1 at the end of 2021.

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The prospect of Verstappen picking up the baton from Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes at sotm point in the future is often knocked around. But when Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was recently submitted with such a hypothesis, the Austrian was predictably non-committal.

“Max is clearly committed to Red Bull and is loyal to the team,” Wolff told Motorsport-Magazin.com.

“I am very happy with my two drivers. If there is a generational change in the future, then George Russell and Esteban Ocon are in the starting blocks.”

But would Mercedes really shy away from an opportunity to hand a seat to a driver many consider the best of his generation? We doubt it…

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