Horner hails 'evolving' Verstappen as Red Bull star threatens to run away with F1 title

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Max Verstappen is still "evolving", according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, as the Dutchman continues his march towards successive Formula One world championships.

After winning the French Grand Prix for a second year in a row, Verstappen holds a 63-point lead over Ferrari's Charles Leclerc at the top of the drivers' standings.

Another title for the reigning champion looks inevitable after he posted six victories in his last nine races, and Verstappen's 2021 rival Lewis Hamilton recently claimed it will be "smooth sailing" for the 24-year-old this year.

Speaking to Eurosport, Red Bull boss Horner hailed Verstappen's development as he suggested the Dutchman ranked among the best drivers to ever feature for the team.

"I think he's very much a mature package now," Horner said. "He's got experience behind him but he's still very, very young.

"He's hugely talented and is using his experience, using his head and his drive, his determination is undiminished.

"So he's just evolving still as a person and as a driver.

"It's very difficult to compare drivers. We've had some amazing drivers but he is certainly right up [there]."

While Verstappen looks likely to cruise to the drivers' title, Red Bull also hold a commanding 82-point advantage over Ferrari in the battle for the constructors' championship.

Although Red Bull are clear favourites to end Mercedes' eight-year stranglehold on the team prize, Horner says he is simply taking it one race at a time.

"The target is to keep building on what we've achieved. There are no finite targets," he added. "It's just about race-by-race, season-by-season and giving him [Verstappen] a car that his talent warrants.

"I still get the same buzz driving into the track on race morning that I did, even when I was driving myself many years ago. It's the competition, going up against the best teams in the world. You need to be at the top of your game.

"It's a team sport, the biggest team sport in the world. If you're lucky enough to win a grand prix, it means every single person within that organisation is doing and fulfilling their part and role."

Verstappen and Red Bull will bid to extend their fine run of form at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

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