Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel fear Verstappen most, say Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel fear Verstappen most, say Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel fear Verstappen most, say Red Bull

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said Max Verstappen is the driver Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton "fears the most" in 2019 and believes the 21-year-old is ready to deliver a competitive title challenge.

Red Bull are starting their first season with new engine partner Honda after ending an often-fractious relationship with Renault, and Horner said he expects them to move forward from a year ago, when they won four races but were usually "in the void between Mercedes and Ferrari and the rest".

"Red Bull Technology has been working with Honda for 12 months, so we've had a good look at their evolution and they're on a good way", he said.

"I don't think he lacks anything that they have".

Verstappen has a new team-mate at Red Bull this season following Daniel Ricciardo's move to Renault. "We've seen in the past year that depending on the circuit, those penalties can have minimal consequences". "He's just much more rounded through experience", said the Briton.

"He's just more worldly, more experienced".

Verstappen said Red Bull is buzzing with "positive energy", thanks to the new works partnership with Honda.

Thai-born Alexander Albon raced in the shadows of the top two British drivers in Formula 2 last season, but has earned his big chance alongside Kvyat.

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"He came back and went, 'Crikey, these guys have got hard decisions to make".

"Charles is a really exciting talent".

"But for sure I will get better through the season and that's fair to say". "Communication has been very honest and very open about areas of strength and weakness".

Team boss Horner is quoted by Speed Week: "Honda is having a strong winter".

"This is the first time that Red Bull and Honda have collaborated, and we know that at the beginning of a relationship, it always takes a little time for things to become automatic and you get the most out of it".

"An terrible lot of frustration was born out of that.so I think with Honda, it being a true technical partnership, there's much more collective responsibility from both sides rather than being a customer-supplier scenario".

Coincidentally, his first win of the season in Austria involved Hamilton's first race retirement since 2016 but the British veteran recovered and is now just two World Championship wins away from former Benetton and Ferrari driver Schumacher's record set back in 2004.

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