Hungarian GP preview: Red Bull relaxed over Verstappen's future after wins

Max Verstappen has won two of the last three Formula 1® races but Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has no concerns over the Dutchman's future with the team.

Verstappen sits third in the drivers' championship, 22 points behind Valtteri Bottas, having added to his victory in Austria which ended Mercedes' dominance with a triumph in Germany on Sunday.

The British Grand Prix – won by championship leader Lewis Hamilton – was sandwiched between those successes, but Verstappen is now well in the hunt for a second-place finish.

Prior to the win in Austria, speculation had mounted over Verstappen's future, with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko suggesting there were concerns the 21-year-old would look to switch teams in 2020.

But, with Verstappen looking to make further ground on the Mercedes duo above him in the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, Horner has no such worries.

"I'm totally relaxed about it. I think Max is enjoying driving within the team, he sees the progress that we're making," he said.

"I don't see any risk with that. We've just got to keep focusing on getting performance to the car.

"We're at the halfway stage of the championship now, we've won two races. We've had a couple of other podiums."

TALK OF THE PADDOCK

Verstappen's victory was perhaps overshadowed on Sunday, as Sebastian Vettel, on his home race, sensationally went from last on the starting grid to second place, much to the delight of the German crowd.

With much of practice and qualifying having taken place in sweltering conditions at the Hockenheim circuit, the race itself went ahead in lashing rain.

Vettel believes the weather was a crucial factor in a dramatic race and hopes F1®'s organisers can find a way to recapture the same tension while in dry conditions.

"Wet races always create chaos and chaos is something that can be very entertaining, we know that and we’ve seen it many times," Ferrari driver Vettel, who is fourth in the standings, said.

"I think the job to do is make sure we string the field together more in dry conditions, when we have normal races, in order to put on a better sport and for us to be able to race each other harder and longer throughout the race. That's the objective for the future."

RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times AEST)

Friday
FP1: 7.00pm-8.30pm
FP2: 11.00pm-12.30am

Saturday
FP3: 8.00pm-9.00pm
Qualifying: 11.00pm-12.00am

Sunday
Race: 11.10pm-1.10am

F1® FACT

With six pole positions, Lewis Hamilton is one shy of equaling Michael Schumacher as the driver with the most poles at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: Lewis Hamilton
2017: Sebastian Vettel
2016: Lewis Hamilton

DRIVER STANDINGS

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 225
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 184 (-41)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 162 (-63)
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 141 (-84)
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 120 (-105)

CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS

1. Mercedes 409
2. Ferrari 261 (-148)
3. Red Bull 217 (-192)
4. McLaren 70 (-339)
5. Honda 42 (-367)

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