Verstappen: Red Bull "definitely overachieved" in 2020

Max Verstappen believes Red Bull had "definitely overachieved" by splitting the Mercedes drivers in the Formula 1 championship, and that the team must "accept the situation" it currently faces.

Verstappen: Red Bull "definitely overachieved" in 2020
Listen to this article

Red Bull has struggled to match Mercedes for outright pace through the opening six races of the 2020 season, especially over one lap in qualifying.

But Verstappen has been able to get closer to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the races, finishing in the top two at each of the last four rounds, including a victory in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Reflecting on the opening six races of the season ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, Verstappen said that Red Bull could be proud of how it has overachieved given Mercedes' pace advantage.

"Looking at pure pace, they of course, both of them, they should be ahead of me in the championship," Verstappen said, referring to the Mercedes drivers.

"I had one retirement,[Bottas] finished out of the points with a puncture, so no points. But of course that was unlucky for him, and unlucky for me in the first race.

"To be second in a few races where I think Mercedes had more pace, we definitely overachieved a bit. And besides that, I think we always maximised what we could. I'm very happy with that.

"As a team and myself, we are not here to be second or third, we want to fight for the championship, but you also have to accept the situation we are in, that we are not really able to challenge.

"It looks like it on paper, but if you look at the pure pace, we are too slow. At the moment, we are relying on a bit of an off day for Mercedes or a bit of luck to win a race. So there's still a lot of work to do."

Read Also:

Verstappen was able to beat the Mercedes drivers at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix thanks to a softer selection of tyres that highlighted some weaknesses in the Mercedes W11 car.

The same tyre selection has been made for this weekend's race in Belgium, but Verstappen doubted it offered the same opportunity to Red Bull given the cooler temperatures at Spa.

"We kept saying: 'Ah, we need heat, we need heat' - well, we definitely got beaten in the heat in Barcelona," Verstappen said.

"Maybe we could have done things better. But the gap like that, even with a bit of set-up work, it's not going to change.

"Maybe the tyres will help. I don't know. It's not going to be warm enough, I think.

"It's tricky, but I like to be realistic and I don't like to tell fairy tales. So it will be hard, but I will try to of course be on the podium."

shares
comments

Related video

Haas F1 stay "almost impossible" without cost cap
Previous article

Haas F1 stay "almost impossible" without cost cap

Next article

Belgian GP: Bottas pips Hamilton, Verstappen in FP1

Belgian GP: Bottas pips Hamilton, Verstappen in FP1
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022