Verstappen is Red Bull’s future – Horner


Team principal Christian Horner extolled the driver's prospects on Thursday at the Spanish Grand Prix, where 18-year-old Verstappen will debut for the team after being promoted from sister outfit Toro Rosso last week.

“A Ricciardo-Verstappen line up for me is potentially one of the, if not THE, strongest pairing of future years,” he said.

“Make no mistake about it, he's one of the hottest prospects in Formula One,” he said of Verstappen, who made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso at 17 in 2015.

“I think this move also kills off the driver market regarding Red Bull drivers for the foreseeable future.”

Red Bull was dominant between 2010 and 2013, winning four consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles with Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel moved to Ferrari at the end of 2014 but Red Bull's fortunes had dived with the change from V8 engines to V6 hybrid power units.

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With Renault showing signs of improvement, and hopes that the gaps between dominant Mercedes and the rest will narrow further in 2017 when the rules change, Horner sees Verstappen as the future.

He has taken the place of Russian Daniil Kvyat, who returns to Toro Rosso - where he started in 2014.

Horner said the two would be paid the same as before, despite the swap, but he conceded that Verstappen's contractual situation had changed.

“I'm not going to tell you what but, yes. He's beyond any doubt committed to this team for multiple years,” said the principal.

“He's demonstrated he's got a great amount of natural talent, he can overtake, he can race... everything I've seen of his development so far has impressed me enormously and I think that curve will continue.”

Horner said Kvyat's demotion could be seen as harsh but Red Bull had not given up on him.

“If we didn't believe in him as a talent, he wouldn't have been retained,” he said.


Original source: Verstappen is Red Bull's future - Horner