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Horner issues fresh assessment of Verstappen's title chances

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has reminded Max Verstappen's rivals that there is still a long way to go in this season's World Championship fight.

Christian Horner insists that he is encouraged by Red Bull's RB18 car, despite early reliability problems, and believes there is plenty of time for Max Verstappen to catch and pass Charles Leclerc in the title fight. The current World Champion finds himself sixth in the Drivers' Championship standings after three rounds, having twice suffered retirements in Bahrain and Australia due to mechanical issues. In Saudi Arabia, Verstappen won the only race he has finished this season following his overtake on Leclerc during the final laps. But he now finds himself a massive 46 points behind the Ferrari driver, his closest rival for the crown.

Horner: We've got the basis of a quick car

The gap between Verstappen and Leclerc is such that even a run of six consecutive race wins does not guarantee Verstappen the top spot in the World Championship standings. However, Horner believes that it is still too early to suggest that the Dutch driver is an outsider to win the title. "We're only just over 10 percent of the way into the championship, so I think there's still a huge amount to go," he told members of the media, including RacingNews365.com . "I think the encouraging thing is that we've got the basis of a quick car."

Red Bull adamant Verstappen will bounce back

In terms of points picked up during the opening three rounds, 2022 has been Verstappen's worst start to a season since 2018. He is currently behind Leclerc, George Russell, Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton in the race for the title, but Horner is convinced that the Dutchman can mount a resurgent comback. "He'll bounce back. He was obviously frustrated when he initially got out of the car but he knows that we're all in it together as a team," said Horner. "We'll bounce back. I'm sure he'll be coming back strong in Imola."

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