Max Verstappen has played down his chances of mounting a Formula 1 title charge this season, adding Red Bull is not currently in a position to challenge for victories at every race.

The Dutchman followed up on back-to-back podiums in Canada and France by taking an unexpected first victory of 2018 at the Austrian Grand Prix to move within 53 points of new championship leader Sebastian Vettel heading into this weekend’s British Grand Prix. 

Red Bull has proved a regular threat to rivals Mercedes and Ferrari so far this season, with all three teams locked on three wins apiece from the opening nine rounds. But Verstappen does not believe he has the machinery at his disposal to turnaround his current points deficit.

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“We don’t have the package to fight on every track,” Verstappen said. “For example in Monza it’s just going to be difficult so it depends in what position you are. If it’s compared to your teammate then I think you still have a chance to come back but I don’t think we are in a position to do that. 

“For sure, there are some tracks where we will be really competitive and we can definitely challenge for victory but not on every single track so to come back like that, you need to be winning almost every weekend.” 

When asked where he feels Red Bull now sits in the pecking order among F1’s three leading teams, Verstappen replied: “It’s difficult to say. I think it depends on the track. If the straights are pretty long, then we are third. If they’re not too many straights, I think we have the best chassis, so we are very competitive.”

Verstappen added he is not expecting Red Bull to be “super-competitive” at Silverstone, adding that Renault’s well-documented engine struggles compared to Ferrari and Mercedes makes its straight-line speed “painful”. 

“I think the problem is that some corners now, they became flat-out and then it basically becomes a double straight, and that’s just very painful,” he explained. “Like Turn 1 here, and you’ve got Copse which is flat.

“It’s a bit of a shame for us. I’m not expecting us to be, like, super-competitive but we’ll there. More or less. So, let’s see what’s going to happen during the race.”

 

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