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

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

Max Verstappen is the driver that five times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel will fear the most this season, his Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said on Tuesday.

Verstappen, 21, won two races past year and will be hoping Honda provide a reliable and powerful engine after the manufacturer's return to Formula One with McLaren ended in divorce at the end of 2017.

The Dutchman was the only driver to finish on the podium in the final five races of 2018, overtaking world champion Hamilton on track at some point of the final three rounds, and his team boss reckons Verstappen is more equipped to succeed than ever.

Verstappen clinched the best championship result of his young F1 career last season, rising to fourth in the championship with a stunning podium run in the second half of the year.

"For sure I'm going to be next to one of the best drivers on the grid at the moment and for me, it's a great challenge", Gasly told

Daniel Ricciardo donned Renault overalls for the first time since deciding to leave Red Bull.

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

"I think his maturity has increased, we saw that during the course of previous year".

The 21-year-old was forced by governing body the FIA to attend a race of the all-electric Formula E series and observe the stewards. "Whether you penalise or not.' I think that was actually a useful exercise for him to see the other side of the fence", said Horner.

Red Bull has parted with long-time engine supplier Renault to switch to Honda in its bid to return to title-challenging form.

"Progress is our target", Horner said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

Honda had a troubled time with McLaren before a separation and teaming up with Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso past year.

"Later, I think Red Bull and Honda will be able to reach a very good level of performance, even if I don't know how long that will take", he added. "Communication has been very honest and very open about areas of strength and weakness". "[We have been in] very much a customer supplier relationship where effectively we were paying for a first class ticket and you get an economy seat".

But although there are no guarantees about the durability of the Honda power unit that it will start the season with, Horner says he would not be too upset if his team was forced to take extra power units in 2019.

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