Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

This is the F1 driver Hamilton apparently fears the most

This is the F1 driver Hamilton apparently fears the most

Although still only 21, Verstappen is already a five-time race victor and this year represents his fifth season in F1.

Hamilton, now 34, won 11 races for Mercedes on his way to the title while four times world champion Vettel, 31, was runner-up having won five.

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.

"I think they have had a strong winter", said Horner, speaking at a media event at Red Bull's London offices.

"I think stability of regulations will help them".

Verstappen was the sport's youngest driver when he made his debut with Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso as a 17-year-old and the youngest ever victor at 18 at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. "He is more worldly, more experienced", said Horner.

He said Verstappen had learned from his mistakes and that the 'community service' charge he served for starting an altercation with Force India's Esteban Ocon following their crash in Brazil past year had opened his eyes.

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He did one day by accompanying stewards at a Formula E race last month in Morocco. Not that he was particularly impressed by Formula E, but he came way from being with the stewards and said: "'Crikey, these guys have got hard decisions to make in terms of do they impose a penalty or do they not'".

Unable to be involved with Renault at the post-season testing after the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi due to Red Bull not releasing him, the "Honey Badger" was all smiles on Monday as he was pictured in the black and yellow of his new team.

Honda had a troubled time with McLaren before a separation and teaming up with Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso past year. It is exciting, although that will really come when I sit in the vehicle. "To continue to improve, this is the best situation that can happen to me", he said.

Red Bull's relations with Renault were fractured from the start of the V6 turbo hybrid era, when Mercedes began a period of domination that has now brought them five successive title doubles.

Horner admits it will be a struggle to avoid grid drops at some point in the year but believes it could aid Honda's progress further.

"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".

Horner said Red Bull aimed to be more consistent across all circuits this year, rather than just those where engine power was less of a factor.

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