Red Bull promise Max Verstappen developments in message to Ferrari and Charles Leclerc

Max Verstappen commits future to Red Bull signing £200m deal

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Red Bull have promised Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez upgrades to their car in the team’s bid to reclaim the Constructors’ Championship for the first time in nine years after a strong start to the Formula One season. Red Bull have also simultaneously sent Charles Leclerc a message that they are coming for the lead of the Drivers’ Championship.

After Perez and Verstappen spun out in Bahrain, the duo have finished in the top four ever since, bar Verstappen’s retirement in the Australian Grand Prix. Engine problems and fuel systems were an issue in the season opener, whilst Verstappen’s car caught fire in Melbourne.

However, after three podium finishes in the last two races, Christian Horner was upbeat about his team’s chances with the updates to their car, sending a message to Leclerc in the process. “You saw in Imola how quickly things can move around and I think we’ve got some interesting races coming up,” Horner said.

“The car’s running well. We’ve got some developments coming hopefully later in the summer that will help as well. We need to save a little bit of weight. You can always improve everywhere. We need to improve the slow [corner] stuff, we need to lose a couple of kilos off the car; tyre deg is then the result of weight so it’s all those little incremental gains that you’re always chasing.

“I don’t think the car is particularly fragile – I just think there have been niggly things that you’ve normally seen in pre-season testing that have only reared their head now. So that is frustrating, but we are working closely with HRC [Honda Racing Corporation] and they are giving us great support, and we’ll get those things figured out.”

The next race of the season comes in Barcelona next Sunday, with Verstappen looking to close the gap to Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship and Red Bull looking to make up ground on Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship. And Horner put pressure on the Prancing Horse by claiming that they are in fact the favourites due to their advantage on corners.

“It’s been nip-and-tuck and Barcelona is a whole new challenge, high-speed corners, and we know that Ferrari are strong in that area,” Horner continued. “It’s horses for courses and this circuit [Miami] suited us, we were able to make it work and get the result.”

Leclerc currently sits 19 points ahead of Verstappen and 38 ahead of Perez. But he will be looking perilously over his shoulder at a circuit where he finished 39 seconds behind Verstappen last season.

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