Max Verstappen feels the recent run of form Red Bull has produced means his team is closing the gap to Mercedes but concedes “it is still not good enough” to regularly fight against the reigning Formula 1 world champions.

Following Verstappen’s victory at the Austrian Grand Prix the Dutch driver looked set to battle for the podium against the Mercedes drivers at the British round last time out until he was taken out by Sebastian Vettel which wrecked his charge as he could only recover to fifth place.

The Red Bull driver’s pace at the last two rounds has shown definite signs of progress for the Honda-powered team but believes the gap to Mercedes – who claimed a seventh 1-2 result of the year at Silverstone – is still the key target to shut down.

“We are getting closer but it is still not good enough but we know that and we are working hard to close that gap,” Verstappen said.

“Sometimes we are running less downforce, sometimes a bit more, it depends on how your car is balanced as well. High speed or low speed it depends, one track is high speed and the other is low speed.

“At Silverstone we were running less downforce so automatically in the lower speed corners you lose a bit of grip so for example we were faster on the straights at Silverstone than them which is a bit odd but it seemed to work the best for us.”

Red Bull remain third in the F1 world constructors’ championship but have trimmed the gap to Ferrari in second place to 52 points ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix.

While Verstappen wants Red Bull to maximise all its results in 2019, he feels it cannot overshadow its overarching target of fighting for F1 world titles – ideally inside the next 12 months.

“Second is always better than third but we are here to win,” he said. “Of course we want to be ahead of Ferrari but we want to be in front of Mercedes too.

“So at the moment we are trying to get the most out of the engine as well and learn from what we did wrong at the beginning of the season, or not as good compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, so that hopefully next year we can fight for wins all the time.”



Loading Comments...