“I don’t see myself as the favourite at all”- Max Verstappen points out the instances where Mercedes is strong during the pre-season testing.
Max Verstappen had a terrific outing in Bahrain, as Red Bull looked like a strong contender for the championship this year than it was last year.
Their rivals Mercedes struggled during the weekend, but Verstappen is not ready to buy that and, in contrast, have pointed out a few areas where Mercedes showed its excellence.
“You can see on the data, of course, what they are doing,” Verstappen said in an interview on Ziggo Sport. “They did their fastest lap with less power and then two laps taking it easy. And then the next lap with half a second more power from the engine. So they are fast, no doubt.
“But now that things have been a little bit more difficult in the beginning, of course, they try to push us into the favourite’s role. And then when they are up there again, it’s all genius.
“They did the same last year at some of the races. On Friday, they said: ‘Yes, Red Bull looks very strong’. But deep down, I knew that wasn’t the case. And then on Saturday, they’re there again, and it’s like: ‘Oh, wonderful!’
“I don’t see myself as the favourite at all. If you have been so dominant in the last seven years and have such a dominant car, you are still good even if you have the worst floor under your car. So I still see Mercedes as the favourite.”
Are you bluffing?
When asked about whether he is bluffing everyone by not playing the favourite card himself and ironically which he is applying it on Mercedes, Verstappen said, when is Mercedes not favourites?
“But it is also normal that they’re the favourites, isn’t it? For seven years in a row, they’ve won everything. So I don’t see myself as the favourite at all.
“But I am happy with what we did during testing, and I am happy with the balance of the car. Whether it is good enough? No idea. We’ll see in Q3.”