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Verstappen not thinking about potential championship challenge

  • Published on 13 Aug 2019 16:02
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen insists he is not thinking about potentially challenging for the drivers' championship this year. 

The Dutchman has won two out of the last four races, and was leading most of the Hungarian Grand Prix last time out before he was passed in the final laps by Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton took his eighth win of the season at Budapest, and currently sits 62 points ahead of second-placed Valtteri Bottas, while Verstappen is a further seven points down.

MOREAlbon to replace Gasly at Red Bull | Albon: 'Surreal' to be promoted to Red Bull

But Verstappen states that he is taking his season on race at a time: "I don't think about it," he said. "I try to do the best possible job every single weekend.

"With Mercedes having such a dominant start to the season, it will be really hard to catch them. We're going to try but I'm not thinking about the championship."

Verstappen also hailed Red Bull's ability to perform strongly under pressure, but recognises Mercedes' "massive" lead in the standings. 

"As a team, we can handle pressure very well in tricky conditions. Also with the pit stops and everything, we seem to be really strong this year again.

"Putting pressure on, they make a mistake, you finish first and they finish second. But you're not really gaining a lot of points. Their [Mercedes] lead in the championship is absolutely massive.

"Of course, they can have a bad weekend but it can happen to us. It's still a big gap. I'm going to try, but I'm not focused on the title fight. I just see every weekend as an opportunity to do well."

Column: Why ruthless Red Bull was right to promote Albon

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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
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Spain
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Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
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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
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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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