Verstappen not worried "time is ticking" on F1 title dreams
Max Verstappen insists he is not worried that "time is ticking" on his dreams of winning the Formula 1 world championship.
The Dutchman and his Red Bull team had hoped to become F1’s youngest ever title winner, but Mercedes’ complete dominance in the turbo hybrid era has put an end to that dream.
Verstappen is already too old to beat Sebastian Vettel’s record of capturing his first world crown aged just 23 years and 134 days.
But despite missing out on that accolade, Verstappen says he is far from concerned about the situation he is in.
“Of course I would like to fight for the championship [in 2021], but we'll have to find out,” he said, speaking to Motorsport.com.
“I mean, I'm still very young. And of course, you know, people say time is ticking. But I'm very relaxed. And it's life. Also, you know, sometimes you cannot force things. So I stay calm.”
With Red Bull confident it can make progress after getting to the bottom of problems with RB16, and Honda bringing an all-new engine, Verstappen is optimistic about progress being made this season
“I do think we can make a big step,” he said. “But I also expect others to have a step. So I just hope that that ours is a bit bigger than the others.”
While Verstappen is heading in to 2021 boosted by his victory in last year’s season finale in Abu Dhabi, Red Bull is under no illusions about the task it faces in taking on Mercedes.
Verstappen’s father Jos is clear that more important for his son than how the last campaign finished is how the 2021 assault kicks off.
“It is nice to win the final race of the season, but it is even better to win the first one next year,” he said.
“It is nice to win the final race of course for the feeling of people in the factory. This gives an extra boost to everyone.
“But as I said before, I think it is even more important that we are able to win the first race next year. That would indicate that we have a car to compete with. And that is what we have missed a bit.”
Asked by Motorsport.com about the chances of closing the gap to Mercedes, Jos Verstappen said: “I think the changes in the regulations that are there for 2021 are still quite significant. The rest of the car has to be adapted to the changes being made to the floor. It's mainly about aerodynamics so they have to get that right.
“And we hope that Honda will bring something extra as well. In that case we will look a little stronger than we did.”
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