Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said Daniel Ricciardo can be a teacher for Max Verstappen following the Dutchman’s difficult start to the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Verstappen has been involved in a collision at each race weekend so far this year, including hitting the wall during FP3 at the Monaco Grand Prix, which prevented him from taking part in qualifying.
Ricciardo has won two races so far this year and sits third in the drivers’ standings with over twice as many points as his teammate, who is sixth in the championship.
Speaking to Formula1.com ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, Horner admitted Verstappen is the only person who can correct his approach to racing, but that Ricciardo would be a “very good teacher” for the 20-year-old. Horner also believes Verstappen is trying too hard and needs to find a way to hit the reset button.
However, the Red Bull boss also defended the young racer, insisting most drivers get chance to make mistakes in lower formula without as many people watching. With Verstappen having made his debut at 17 years old, Horner says Verstappen is doing his learning in a very public area as well as in a front running car, and has backed him to emerge the other side.
Verstappen’s best finish so far this year came at the Spanish Grand Prix, where he finished third. He’s retired from two races following damage caused by collisions, but has been in the points at every other race, including last time out in Monte Carlo despite starting from the back of the grid. He and Horner will be hoping Canada is the start of the turnaround, but the race hasn’t previously been a strong one for Verstappen, with one points finish in three previous attempts, although he had looked set to challenge for the win last year before breaking down from second place.