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Horner: 2019 was Verstappen's strongest year in F1

  • Published on 13 Dec 2019 10:54
  • comments 0
  • By: Dieter Rencken & Fergal Walsh

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes the 2019 campaign was Max Verstappen's strongest season in Formula 1 to date.

It marked the Dutchman's fifth year in the sport, and saw him become the lead driver at the energy drink squad following the departure of Daniel Ricciardo to Renault.

Verstappen took his first race win of the year in Austria, before taking another in a frantic race in Germany. At the following event in Hungary, he secured his first-ever F1 pole position.

The 22-year-old ended the championship in third place, ahead of both Ferraris, who were tipped as championship favourites by some following pre-season testing.

Horner described 2019 as a transitional year for Red Bull, as it switched engine manufactures for the first time since 2007 by forming a partnership with Honda. 

"I think it has been Max’s strongest season in Formula 1, it’s been a transitional year for the team, it was always going to be," Horner said.

"It was the first engine change that we’ve had in 13 years and the partnership with Honda has worked tremendously well from the first race in Melbourne, each change that has been introduced it has been getting better and better.

"Reliability has been strong, we’ve only had one mechanical DNF this year, in Azerbaijan. With each engine introduction, we got closer and closer to the pace.

"Three pole positions, albeit we only kept two of them, three victories, nine podiums is really impressive performance this year."

Red Bull could be the challenging team in 2020 - Horner

With a major regulation overhaul coming into play in 2021, next year will see little changes on the regulation front. 

Red Bull ended the 2019 season strongly, leaving Horner to hope that the team can start the 2020 season challenging at the front from the first race to the season finale.

"I think the stability of the regulations going into 2020, hopefully, we can be the challenging team next year," he said. "Mercedes has had another strong year, they’re very much the benchmark still and it feels like we’re definitely getting closer."

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  • Country Netherlands
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (22)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), Netherlands
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
15 - Mar 17 2019
Australia
29 - Mar 31 2019
Bahrain
-
Bahrain
12 - Apr 14 2019
China
26 - Apr 28 2019
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12 2019
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26 2019
Monaco
7 - Jun 9 2019
Canada
21 - Jun 23 2019
France
28 - Jun 30 2019
Austria
12 - Jul 14 2019
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28 2019
Germany
2 - Aug 4 2019
Hungary
30 - Sep 1 2019
Belgium
6 - Sep 8 2019
Italy
20 - Sep 22 2019
Singapore
27 - Sep 29 2019
Russian
11 - Oct 13 2019
Japan
25 - Oct 27 2019
Mexico
1 - Nov 3 2019
United States of America
15 - Nov 17 2019
Brazil
29 - Dec 1 2019
United Arab Emirates
-
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17 2019
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31 2019
12 - Apr 14 2019
26 - Apr 28 2019
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12 2019
23 - May 26 2019
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9 2019
21 - Jun 23 2019
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30 2019
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14 2019
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28 2019
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4 2019
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1 2019
6 - Sep 8 2019
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22 2019
27 - Sep 29 2019
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13 2019
25 - Oct 27 2019
1 - Nov 3 2019
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17 2019
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1 2019
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
-
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
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