Max Verstappen has been backed to 'bounce back strong' at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola following a disappointing start to his F1 title defence.
Fresh from the springboard of clinching his maiden championship last year, albeit in controversial circumstances given the events of the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, Verstappen's Red Bull has been hit with technical issues so far this campaign.
Despite clinching victory in the second race in Saudi Arabia, it has been sandwiched by two retirements in Bahrain and Australia to leave the Dutch driver 46 points behind early runaway leader Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari.
Verstappen has made his frustration clear, notably after being forced to suddenly stop his RB18 while running second in Melbourne before the car caught fire, as he labelled the ongoing situation "unacceptable".
Team principal Christian Horner can understand Verstappen's sentiments but has no doubt his driver "will bounce back".
Horner added: "He was obviously frustrated when he initially got out of the car [in Melbourne], but he knows that we’re all in it together as a team and we’ll bounce back.
"I am sure he will be coming back strong in Imola."
Red Bull to upgrade RB18 for Imola?
Ordinarily, the first race in Europe following a flyaway start to the campaign would see teams present their first major upgrade package.
Imola, however, presents a hindrance to that as there is sprint qualifying following a single hour-long practice session on Friday.
As to whether Red Bull will unveil 'a big package', Horner replied: "I wouldn’t say a big package.
"It’s all part of evolution and, of course, being a sprint race you get very little time to evaluate these things.
"You’ve got one session and then you’re into qualifying so you’ve got to be very confident about what you’re putting on the car."