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"Exciting times ahead" for "maturing" Verstappen

"Exciting times ahead" for "maturing" Verstappen

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"Exciting times ahead" for "maturing" Verstappen

"Exciting times ahead" for "maturing" Verstappen

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is expecting "exciting times ahead" for a "maturing" Max Verstappen as the team attempts to bridge the gap to Mercedes.

Verstappen, currently in his sixth season of Formula 1, trails Valtteri Bottas for second in the standings by just 14 points despite multiple retirements and a vastly inferior car.

Despite Red Bull's notoriously slow-start-to-a-season issues, the Dutch driver is considered the closest challenger to Lewis Hamilton for the drivers' championship in the near future.

Following another second place at the recent Eifel Grand Prix, Horner believes the prospect of Verstappen hitting the top of the sport only increases as time goes by.

"Just as he gains experience, I think that he’s just maturing as a driver," he said.

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"I mean, 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 growing and growing.

"You can see that maturity in the car, in his racing. I think there are exciting times ahead of him."

Even though the team has achieved a victory with Verstappen already this season, the RB16 has often lacked the pace to contend with Mercedes.

Verstappen's team-mate Alex Albon has struggled at times to get to grips with the car, which has been uncharacteristically nervous, but Horner believes a corner was turned at the Nürburgring.

"It felt like we were a step closer," added Horner. "There were areas at that circuit where we were equal to or better than Mercedes.

"Let’s see, we’ve got Portimao, we’ve got Istanbul, we’ve got Imola, they’re all circuits that will be quite interesting for us.

"We’re keen to finish the season with positive momentum, having sort of understood quite a few of the issues we’ve had with RB16 so that’s addressed going into RB16b."

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