A season and a half into his meteoric Formula 1 career so far, Max Verstappen is continuing to impress.
In his sixth race since switching from Toro Rosso, the 18-year-old Dutchman finally out qualified his highly-rated teammate Daniel Ricciardo at Silverstone before racing to the podium.
Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner has backed Ricciardo to respond positively to Verstappen’s recent form and believes the two men are getting the best from each other.
“I think Daniel is a class driver and he has demonstrated already this year that he is at the top of his game,” Horner said.
“No teammate likes being the second of the cars to finish and I am sure he will respond positively. But it is a positive thing in the team. There is no animosity or anything. It is just two guys going for it and going flat-out. It is very healthy for us.”
When asked if the dynamic at the team had shifted since Verstappen’s arrival, Horner said: “Well, not really. Obviously we have got two very strong drivers in the cars and they are pushing each other hard, which is great to see and there is a confidence in the team that you can see is growing.”
Horner has praised Ricciardo’s reaction to Verstappen’s arrival and points out he has had the lion’s share of bad luck in recent races.
“I think Daniel is dealing with it very well. He got a little bit unlucky with the VSC period [at Silverstone]. That cost him probably about 10 seconds and allowed Perez to effectively get a free stop ahead of him. But that is just the run of the green. You can’t anticipate when there is going to be a VSC.
“He then cleared Perez and was slowly catching on that group, but the damage was done to his race. He is going to have a couple of Sundays come up where I am sure everything will fall his way and it will be swings and roundabouts.”
As for his move on Nico Rosberg around the outside of Becketts in Silverstone for British Grand Prix, Red Bull team boss said: “Max continues to surprise us.”
F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart told the Swiss newspaper Blick: “How he passed Rosberg around the outside can only be described as world-class.
“We already know who the world champion of the future is.”