Red Bull: It's tough for any driver to race alongside Verstappen

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes the prospect of racing alongside Max Verstappen is tough for any driver in his current form.

On Monday, the Milton Keynes-based outfit decided to replace Pierre Gasly with Alex Albon from the Belgian Grand Prix next month after the Frenchman had struggled to get on terms with the Dutchman.

Indeed, after 12 races, Verstappen had almost triple the number of points of Gasly but Horner claims that reflected more on Max and his performances this season.

"I think it's very tough. If you go up against Verstappen at the moment - for me arguably he is the most in-form driver on the grid - that’s an enormous barometer for any driver to go up and be measured against," said the Red Bull chief in Hungary.

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"I think Max, not just in the last three races but during the course of the whole of this season, indeed pretty much Montreal last year, he’s been driving incredibly well at a very high standard.

"It’s certainly started to come together over the last few races," he noted. "The win in Austria was a watershed moment, we were competitive at Silverstone and obviously the race, the excitement of [Germany] was a phenomenal performance by him, to keep his head, to have the pace in all varying conditions, and come out on top and win the Grand Prix.

"He’s in great form and hopefully we can continue that form into the summer break and out of the other side as well. He’s certainly delivering at an extremely high level."

Now facing the unenviable task of going up against Verstappen, Albon offered his first comments via Instagram on Monday on his promotion.

“Surreal to have been given this massive opportunity Red Bull Racing!” he said. “Can’t thank you enough for believing in me and making this possible.

“It’s a big jump into the deep end, but I’ve got my swimming shorts on!

“Thanks to all the guys at Toro Rosso, especially Franz Tost for the massive opportunity in F1 and never-ending support throughout my first year!

“Now to focus for my first race with the team in Spa.”