Max Verstappen insists he is “not even thinking” about his Formula 1 future beyond his current deal with Red Bull.

Red Bull had hoped a winter switch to Honda power units would move it into contention for regular race wins and championships, but despite an encouraging step forward in engine performance, the team is yet to finish higher than third place so far this season.

Verstappen is enjoying a strong start to 2019 but that has failed to quell recent speculation suggesting the five-time grand prix winner is becoming frustrated at not being able to fight for titles.

Asked ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix how long he is willing to be patient at Red Bull, Verstappen said: “I’m not even thinking about that.

“At the end of the day it’s not easy, as you see with Ferrari as well, to close the gap.

“Mercedes is at the moment just doing a very good job but I feel very good in the team and it feels like the place to be at the moment. I’m not even thinking about those things.

“I feel good within the team as well I feel very relaxed and I think that also helps,” he added.

“You spend a lot of time with each other already over the years so you get to know each other better. Communication is going very well and I’m having a good time.”

During the weekend, Verstappen’s father, Jos, retweeted a story in which Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko had expressed concerns about losing his star driver, but the Dutchman was quick to brush off such talk.

“There were a bit more things said in the article… I’m the driver, not my dad,” he said.

“I always said I’m enjoying myself. Of course, we all know that we need to do better but I believe in the project that we are in with Honda.

“We are just working hard now to step up the performance and we will see in the upcoming races where we will be. If you get a bit more power, balance in the car, then it looks a bit different.”

Verstappen struggled to make up significant ground following his shock Q2 exit and finished fifth in Canada, a result he felt was the maximum even if he had started higher up the grid.

“Monaco we were the second-best team but I knew this track [Montreal] was not going to be great, even though last year we were quite competitive,” Verstappen explained.

“But I think back then our car was quite a lot better than the Mercedes and the Ferrari and now I wouldn’t say that we are superior to them, so automatically it becomes quite hard over here.

“We are working hard to improve, we know that we have to improve. I think that’s not a secret but we also knew that from the beginning of the year, so it is not like a big shock what is happening now.”



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