Ricciardo/Verstappen can be best F1 line-up - Horner

Christian Horner believes Red Bull could have the strongest driver pairing in Formula 1 now that Max Verstappen has joined Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo/Verstappen can be best F1 line-up - Horner
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12 and Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing RB12
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing with his father Jos Verstappen

Verstappen has joined the energy drinks company's senior F1 team after Daniil Kvyat was demoted to Toro Rosso following the Russian Grand Prix.

Australian Ricciardo is one of the most in-form drivers this year, and Horner reckons the duo will complete a very strong line-up.

"I think you always want to put your best foot forward and have the most competitive driver line-up that you can have, and I think a Ricciardo/Verstappen line-up for me is potentially one of, if not the strongest pairing, of future years," said Horner.

"Of course that depends how things develop and pan out and with regulation change coming for next year, and hopefully with the power units converging, that provides some great opportunities for this team over the next couple of seasons."

Verstappen became the youngest grand prix driver in history at age 17 when he made his debut with Toro Rosso last year.

The Dutchman has impressed with his speed and overtaking skills, and Horner has no doubt he is ready to handle the step up to Red Bull.

When asked if Verstappen was too young for Red Bull, Horner said: "You said this, or certain people said this, when he came in at 16 and I think he has proved to be one of the most exciting things about F1 currently in the paddock and I think he has demonstrated that he has got a great amount of natural talent, great natural ability, he can overtake, he can race.

"He has got an awful lot to learn but he has a very mature head on young shoulders and certainly everything I have seen of his development so far has impressed me enormously and that curve will continue."

No pressure

Although Horner acknowledges that other teams are interested in Verstappen, he insists there was no pressure to move him to the main team so soon.

"No, there was no pressure at all. He was actually was more surprised than Daniil was, to be honest with you.

"There was no positioning or pressure from Max's side or management in any way."

He added: "Max is one of the hottest properties in F1 at this point of time, so it is only natural that other teams will be showing interest in a driver that is demonstrating his kind of ability and talent.

"I think this move also kills off the driver market, regarding Red Bull drivers, certainly for the foreseeable future."

Horner also confirmed that Verstappen's contract had now changed to tie his long-term future to Red Bull.

"I am not going to tell you what: but yes. He is beyond any doubt committed to this team for multiple years."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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