Boss Christian Horner has praised Red Bull driver Max Verstappen for battling back from a difficult start to eventually fire in 2018.
The Dutchman endured a disappointing first few months of the season and across the first six races was involved in at least one incident each weekend that cost him, and others, dearly.
The 21-year-old was forced to retire in Bahrain and Azerbaijan in the early weeks but has since improved and built on his only win of the year so far in Austria in July with a third-place finish in Belgium before he was second in Singapore.
Verstappen was third in Japan earlier this month and then stormed through from 18th on the grid to finish second in the US Grand Prix on Sunday.
Horner has been impressed with the way Verstappen handled his early-season struggles and believes he’s gained plenty of experience as he’s demonstrated his driving ability for all to see in the second half of the campaign.
“I think really since Montreal (in June), he has driven some brilliant races,” Horner told Autosport. “He had a tough start to the year. He didn’t let his chin drop. He didn’t let the pressure get to him.
“He rode the storm and emerged the other side. I’m sure it only made him stronger. And he has got a pretty decent level of experience now that he is putting to very good use.
“I think he is becoming more and more rounded in all areas. We just need to give him the tools to do that kind of performance every weekend.”