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JULY 11, 2017

Red Bull writes off 2017 championship

Christian Horner has backed frustrated team driver Max Verstappen in declaring the 2017 world championship basically over for Red Bull.

After yet another technical retirement in Austria, and amid rumours he wants out of the team, Verstappen declared: "I no longer think about the world championship, but having good individual races."

Some interpreted the comment as capitulation just as Red Bull's performance is closing right up on Mercedes and Ferrari.

But Max's boss Christian Horner said: "I think the championships for us are not even worth thinking about. We're a bit in no man's land.

"What we're very focused on is building on the progress that we've seen, particularly since Barcelona and ensuring that the second half of the year for us is more competitive than the first half," he added.

At the halfway point of the championship, Daniel Ricciardo is 64 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel. Dutchman Verstappen is a further 62 points adrift.