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Red Bull still too far away from Mercedes - Verstappen

  • Published on 02 Aug 2019 09:03
  • comments 1
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen has played down a potential title challenge in 2019, insisting that Red Bull is still too far away from Mercedes.

Verstappen has won two out of the last three races, emerging out on top at a chaotic German Grand Prix last weekend, while Mercedes struggled in the challenging conditions.

Red Bull has vastly improved its package over the course of the seaosn so far, but Verstappen says that a lot more must be done for it to consistently challenge at the front. 

“Like I said in Hockenheim, it’s too early to say anything about that," Verstappen said. "We absolutely must improve further. We must first close the gap further, especially in qualifying. We are getting closer, but at the moment we are still too far away.

“As soon as we are in the right position in the qualifications, the races will also look different.

“As a team, we are very strong in coming up with good strategies and we are very good at carrying out pit stops, as you have seen in Germany. Those things can make a big difference if we start a little further forward.”

Verstappen believes Red Bull can win five races

Prior to the start of the 2019 season, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko predicted that the team would win five races - a prediction that looked unlikely prior to Red Bull's upturn in form.

However, Verstappen now too believes that Red Bull could achieve the five wins and see Marko's prediction come true.

“I spoke to him about that and I was like, ‘Oof, Helmut, it’s quite optimistic, five victories in the first year working together with Honda’,” he said. “Because you know, at the end of the day, you have to get to know each other more and you learn more and more every single race together.

"But as soon as we won the first one, then of course Helmut was like, ‘I think we can get to five’ and I was like ‘okay’. It’s not bad to have won one, and now of course we’ve won two, so knowing that normally in the second half, we improve even more with updates to the car, it’s possible, I think.

“Hopefully, we can just close the gap to Mercedes, and even Ferrari of course – in qualifying they’re still very fast – to always be there, because then you have a lot more opportunity to win.

“But at the end of the day, there are 21 races and I want to win all 21, not just five. But we’re working on it and I think we’re getting better every weekend.”

Replies (1)

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  • When they said they could win 5 races at the start of the season I whinged. This is after all the maiden season of their new alliance. I still find it unlikely, but they've now won 2 races, I could very well see them win at least another GP. Much of the basis is there, now Honda just need to keep 'um coming.

    • + 0
    • Aug 2 2019 - 09:30
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
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Spain
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Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
-
Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
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Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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