Max Verstappen does not believe the incoming ban on the use of Formula 1 engine ‘qualifying modes’ will make enough of a difference to enable Red Bull to compete with Mercedes. 

From next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza, teams will be restricted to use the same engine setting throughout the weekend, with the FIA outlawing the high-performance modes that allow teams to turn their power units up in qualifying. 

While the change had been tipped to rein in some of Mercedes’ current qualifying advantage, Verstappen feels it will only help Red Bull slightly close the gap to the reigning world championship-winning squad. 

“Just looking from our perspective, I don’t think I will move forward [on the grid] but hopefully get a little bit closer,” Verstappen said. 

“But the gap in qualifying is still too big. Qualifying mode is not going to make the difference. I just hope that we can be a bit closer.”

While Verstappen insists Red Bull will not “give up” on the 2020 title, he is unsure the team will be able to fight for the world championship in 2021 either with the current cars being carried over into next season. 

“Clearly they had a good winter - Mercedes - and they also found a lot of performance out of their engine,” he explained. “That meant we were a bit behind. 

“We’re just trying to do the best we can, everybody is of course. We will see what the rest of the season will bring but they are still of course quite far ahead but we don’t give up, that’s the mentality of the team. 

“We will always keep fighting and go for every opportunity we have. I do believe in it. Of course, for next year as well, it might get a bit complicated because the rules stay the same. 

“You’re not allowed to change a lot on the cars but then of course, new rules coming in and a new opportunity for everyone.”



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