Max Verstappen: Red Bull driver is 'trying too hard', says team boss Christian Horner

Christian Horner and Max Verstappen
Christian Horner believes Verstappen has had some 'harsh lessons' this year

Max Verstappen is "trying too hard" and needs to learn from Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, says team boss Christian Horner.

Ricciardo won Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix while Verstappen finished ninth after missing qualifying following a crash in practice.

The Dutchman has made errors at all six race weekends so far this season.

"Max has an abundance of talent and has had some harsh lessons this year," Horner said.

"I think a modified approach will benefit him. He has a very good teacher in the car next door to him."

Horner's remarks echo those of Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko, who told BBC Sport after qualifying in Monaco that Verstappen's accident had been "unnecessary" and caused by "a lack of patience". Marko said Verstappen "had to learn not always to drive flat out".

Horner said he would "of course" talk to Verstappen but added: "The only person who can address it and deal with it is Max. This weekend was very painful for him.

"He's very aware. We talk weekly. He'll be in the factory this week. What frustrates him is he's working harder than ever and it feels like he is just trying a bit too hard at the moment. When you get into a spiral you try harder. He needs to hit the reset button.

"Max arrived in F1 very quickly and he is doing his learning in a very public arena. Most guys will have gone through this in the lower formulae and he is having to deal with it in a very public arena and I am sure he will emerge on the other side."

Verstappen is 75 points - three clear wins - off championship leader Lewis Hamilton and effectively out of contention for the title, while Ricciardo is third on 72 points, 38 adrift after taking two wins so far, the same as Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Horner pointed out that Verstappen's series of errors were also damaging Red Bull's hopes in the constructors' championship.

"We should be right there with Mercedes and Ferrari," Horner said. "We have given away 65 points or so. We need both drivers performing at their optimum to be able to fight with those two teams."

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