Verstappen targeting mid-season F1 race wins

Max Verstappen hopes that Red Bull will be ready to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari at all tracks from the halfway point of the Formula 1 season, with it currently playing catch up against its rivals.

Verstappen targeting mid-season F1 race wins

With his team aware that it needs to improve its chassis, and Honda still having ground to make up on the power front, Verstappen thinks it is unrealistic to expect much more right now.

But, with a host of car and engine updates in the pipeline, the Dutchman thinks that Red Bull could get to a point by the middle of the campaign where it is strong on all types of circuits.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com at a preview to the Jumbo Racing Days at Zandvoort, Verstappen said “I think we still need to add more horsepower, but we are a little bit closer. On the car side we also need to improve to really compete. We’ll see.

“Hopefully halfway through the season we won’t have to say we can only fight on circuits without straights.

“We are still losing time on the straights, that’s a fact. Especially compared to Ferrari. They found something this year but nobody knows how. They have done their homework and we have to make sure we get closer with the chassis and the engine.”

Although aware that Red Bull needs to move forward, he says he is happy with his run of finishes that have left him third overall in the drivers’ standings.

“In general we can be satisfied with our start,” he said. “I think no one expected we would compete for wins right away - I don’t think that’s realistic. With a new engine partner it takes some time.

“I am very pleased with Honda so far. The engine is very reliable. Power could always be better, but we knew that. They’re working really hard on it. We can’t complain.

“On the car side we can find some more downforce. In general we need a more consistent balance during the race. Right now we have to maximise what we have.”

Asked about the potential for a world championship challenge by 2020, Verstappen replied: “It’s still very early in the season and we are third in the championship. Everything is still possible. We need to make sure we get good updates on the car and the engine and then anything is still possible.”

Jumbo Racing Days will take place at the famous Dutch circuit on May 18-19.

Additional reporting by Ronald Vording

shares
comments
Mercedes: China double-stack was Wolff's idea

Previous article

Mercedes: China double-stack was Wolff's idea

Next article

Binotto admits it was "difficult" to give Leclerc orders

Binotto admits it was "difficult" to give Leclerc orders
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Jonathan Noble
How F1's street track return can offer Verstappen redemption Prime

How F1's street track return can offer Verstappen redemption

Red Bull has failed to capitalise on having the best car in the opening rounds. BEN EDWARDS thinks change is around the corner.

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Formula 1
May 17, 2021
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021