Watch out for Verstappen, Red Bull boss warns Hamilton

Watch out for Verstappen, Red Bull boss warns Hamilton

The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday.

Hamilton won 11 races for Mercedes on his way to the title while four-time world champion Vettel of Germany finished as runner-up with five victories, ahead of Verstappen, who won two grands prix a year ago and ended the season fourth overall.

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

"Max, if you look at his performance in the second half of the (last) year, was the second-highest points scorer to Lewis", Horner said.

"I think stability of regulations will help them".

But Horner expressed his confidence that the Dutchman, who became the sport's youngest victor when he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix at the age of 18, would be their heir apparent.

Verstappen has a new team-mate at Red Bull this season following Daniel Ricciardo's move to Renault.

"I think his maturity has increased, we saw that during the course of previous year". He is worldlier, more experienced.

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He did one day by accompanying stewards at a Formula E race last month in Morocco.

"He came back and went, 'Crikey, these guys have got hard decisions to make. That was actually a useful exercise for him".

Horner believes the Dutchman, 21, is ready to take the fight to Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in a title battle, should his Red Bull team prove competitive in 2019.

"There are three teams that stand out from the rest of the field: Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull". It's also exciting, but that really only comes when I'm in the auto. "Communication has been very honest and very open about areas of strength and weakness".

While relations between Red Bull and previous engine partner Renault collapsed into acrimony, Horner has faith that the relationship with Honda will not play out in a similar way.

"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".

"With Honda, it being a true technical partnership, there is much more collective responsibility from both sides rather than being a customer supplier scenario".

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