Motorsport
'Daniel Ricciardo was driver of the year'
MOTORSPORT

'Daniel Ricciardo was driver of the year'

Christian Horner thinks Daniel Ricciardo was the best driver in 2016 and expects Max Verstappen to go from strength to strength.

Christian Horner believes Red Bull have the "most exciting driver pairing" on the Formula One grid this year in the "ferocious" form of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Mercedes have won the constructors' title in each of the last three years, but the introduction of new regulations and world champion Nico Rosberg's retirement - with Valtteri Bottas replacing him -should make for an intriguing 2017 season.


Red Bull team principal Horner thinks the Milton Keynes-based team have every chance of ending Mercedes' dominance with Ricciardo and Verstappen behind the wheel.

"We've probably got the most exciting driver pairing on the grid." Horner said as Red Bull prepare to launch their new RB13 car next Sunday.

"It's so exciting to see the evolution and the development of Max Verstappen just as he's growing in experience and confidence and age at the heady age of 19 this year.

"And Daniel Ricciardo, who for me was the driver of the year last year, he put in some phenomenal performances. He's right at the top of his game, his confidence is high.


"So I think the dynamic between the two drivers is great. They are going to push each other incredibly hard, which is great from a team perspective and I couldn't wish for two better motivated drivers in our cars.

"The main strengths of Max and Daniel... well hopefully it's their neck because it's going to be a lot more g-force this year. But they're both ferocious racers.

"Their race craft on a Sunday afternoon... I don't think there are drivers out there that are better overtakers than our two guys. Tremendously dedicated, it's enjoying what they do, they love what they do, you can see they really revel in being Grand Prix drivers.


"They're having fun along the way. There is sort of a big brother little brother mentality going on. They live in the same apartment block. It's a great pairing for us to have in our line-up.

"Mercedes for sure are the world champions, triple world champions. They're the team to beat. They set the bar pretty high but that's what we're aspiring to, hopefully we can be a real challenger team. I think the driver line-up we have is fantastic, we have great stability in the team and we’re excited about the year ahead.

"It's a brand new engine for this year, a change in philosophy. They've had a big winter. We're hoping for a step up in performance and if that is delivered hopefully we can really be a challenger team this year and give the Mercedes and Ferraris a hard time."

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