Max Verstappen thinks he is driving better than his teammate Daniel Ricciardo this year. That is despite the fact the young Dutchman has not scored even half the amount of points compared to his fellow Red Bull driver Ricciardo.
But Verstappen says it's all about the reliability of his car. "What can I do?" the 19-year-old told Auto Motor und Sport. "I just have to see the positives of the season, which is qualifying. The speed is there," Verstappen said. "Even in the race I was always in good positions before I failed."
He rejects the notion that his driving style is somehow contributing to his constant technical problems. "My approach is right, so why should I change something? I am fast," he said. "We can see from the telemetry that I don't do anything wrong or different to Daniel. It's just funny that the problems on race day are always on my car."
Still, Verstappen says he is consoled by the fact that he is regularly beating Australian Ricciardo in qualifying. "Daniel was always known as a fast qualifier," he said. "He is very fast. But I am faster this year by three or four tenths on average. That's a lot of time."
And so with a Mercedes or Ferrari at his disposal, he is "100 per cent convinced" that he would be fighting for the title. "I am very self-confident," Verstappen added. "I am also honest and straightforward -- I do not lie. The only thing I want is a winning car." He will not comment on Red Bull's potential post-2018 future with Honda, saying only that Renault is pushing to up its game.
But Verstappen said he is happy with Red Bull. "In general the mood in the team is better and better," he said. "In the corners we are close to the others, but often we use more downforce to compensate for our power deficit so it's hard to say exactly where we need to improve. Everything is in the right direction, but much of it is not in our hands. The car is our hands though and so that's what we have to make the most of." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing