Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner says he is "totally relaxed" about Max Verstappen's future with the team after claiming two victories in the last three races.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko aired some concerns earlier in the year that Verstappen could look to quit the team if it did not start competing for race victories soon, while reports of a performance-related exit clause in his contract also emerged.

But after victories in Austria last month and in Germany on Sunday, Verstappen has now risen to third in the drivers' championship and is just 22 points behind Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the standings.

Speaking after Verstappen's victory in Hockenheim, Horner said he had zero concerns about the Dutchman's future with Red Bull as the project with engine partner Honda continues to gather pace.

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

"I’m surprised the [unsafe pit stop] release of Ferrari looked very similar to the Monaco one to me. The team only got fined. Otherwise Max would have had another podium in Monaco."

Horner was full of praise for Verstappen's dominant display at Hockenheim in changeable conditions as the likes of Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc all had off-track crashes.

"I think he has a great natural feeling and car control. I think he enjoys those conditions, he always excels in those conditions," Horner said.

"He’s got such confidence in the car. He’s able to do things and manage tyres at the same time. It's extremely impressive."

 

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