Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo can become one of the most formidable driver line-ups in Formula One for the foreseeable future, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
Highly-regarded teenager Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull after Daniil Kvyat was demoted to sister team Toro Rosso following an error-strewn showing at his home grand prix in Russia, which included shunting Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
Some critics have argued that it is too early for 18-year-old Verstappen to take the Red Bull drive, but Horner is excited by the prospect of pairing him with Ricciardo.
"I think you always want to put your best foot forward and have the most competitive driver line-up that you can have and I think a Ricciardo-Verstappen line-up for me is potentially one of, if not the strongest pairing, of future years," he said.
Verstappen enjoyed a fine debut season in Formula One, scoring 49 points en route to a 12th-placed finish in the drivers' standings.
And Horner believes Verstappen has already shown he is one of the best talents in F1.
"You said this or certain people said this, when he came in at 16 and I think he has proved to be one of the most exciting things about F1 currently in the paddock," he added.
"I think he has demonstrated that he has got a great amount of natural talent, great natural ability, he can overtake, he can race."