Max Verstappen believes Red Bull is in a better position going into the new 2021 Formula 1 season than it was last year.

Red Bull goes into the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on the back of a successful three days of testing, where it showed good reliability and an impressive turn of pace.

One criticism of the 2020 car was its unpredictable, snappy nature - an area which Alexander Albon vocally struggled with - but Verstappen is confident Red Bull has cured its handling issues after coping with the gusty winds experienced during the Bahrain tests.

Speaking in Bahrain ahead of the first race, Verstappen was asked if he felt the RB16B was an improvement on its predecessor, he said: “I think so. Everything went quite smooth so that's of course always what you want in a test, and especially when it's so little amount of time, you always hope that it's going to run like that. So we were definitely very pleased for that.

“Different kind of circumstances, different tyres, the car is different because of the new regulations with the aero and the floor. I think what was the most important thing to feel was that the car is quite predictable, even with the changes in the wind direction and temperature so that felt good.”

The Dutchman also downplayed Red Bull’s ‘favourites’ tag and stressed the need to stay focused on the task at hand.

“It’s just because it doesn't matter,” Verstappen added. “What matters is that you perform on track when it counts and when you can score the points.

“I think you just have to focus on your job and just stay calm, stay focused, because it just distracts you, and like I said, it's just important to focus on the job.”




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