'Racing brain' Max Verstappen ready for title tilt

Max Verstappen is ready to thrown his name into the ring for a World title, he just needs a complete package from Red Bull and new-for-2019 engine supplier Honda.

Although Verstappen had a wretched start to his season, six incidents in six races, his found his form after the Monaco Grand Prix.

In the following 13 grands prix, he claimed eight podiums including two race wins, Austria and Mexico.

His latest win came on the back of disappointment at losing pole position to Daniel Ricciardo on the Saturday.

But instead of letting it get him down, he turned that frustration into pace and ultimately a win.

Asked if he believed his driver was ready to fight for a World title, team boss Christian Horner said: “I think absolutely.

“You’ve seen this weekend [in Mexico] if we’ve had an engine that is anywhere near the ballpark of our opponents, then we’ve got a strong enough team and strong enough driver package to take the fight to them [Mercedes and Ferrari].

“We’re obviously hopeful that the Honda, with the progress they’re making, will put us into a situation where we’re more regularly able to compete.

“We are here with the optimum downforce on the car, the optimum setting on the car.

“[Verstappen] went through a tough path at the beginning of the year.

“But really, since Montreal, he’s been doing some incredible races and I think with experience that was really the only missing piece.

“All drivers make mistakes, you see that up and down the paddock. It’s what you learn from them.”

The team boss was full of praise for Verstappen’s ability behind the wheel.

“He has an awful load of capacity in the car,” he added. “I think he’s got a very good racing brain as well.

“So he’s wanting to understand what’s going on in the rest of the race to match his pace accordingly.”

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