“They would have won Hungary if everything went as normal”– Max Verstappen feels Red Bull still needs to do more to defeat Mercedes.
Max Verstappen’s last win at Zandvoort has brought him at the front in the championship race, while in the constructors’ race, Red Bull is still 12 points behind Mercedes.
Moreover, Mercedes’ raw pace has compelled Verstappen to demand more from Red Bull, as he believes the Silver Arrows can still run away with the title.
“For me, they did pole position in Silverstone, even though of course it didn’t count as a pole position,” said Verstappen, referring to the first of the sprint qualifying sessions, which we will see repeated in Monza.
“And they were ahead in Hungary, where they definitely had more pace than us, [they] just looked better. But of course, Hungary was a crazy race with what happened, with the wet and the start, so you shouldn’t look at stats.”
“You should look at the realistic pace, what there was, and not always look at the race result, because I definitely think they would have won Hungary if everything went as normal.”
“That’s why I really felt, in the break, I was like ‘We really need to speed things up here because otherwise, they’re going to run away with it.’ I think we did, and we did pick it up a bit. I feel like we still need a bit more, but it’s heading in the right direction.
“Also, you have to see that there are still quite a lot of different kinds of tracks coming up, so it will definitely swing both ways. We just have to keep on it and keep pushing and keep bringing new bits for the car.”
Expectations are hard to fulfil
Verstappen sealed a comprehensive victory at his home race, and talking about the celebrations by his fans after that made him admit that it was an incredible environment but also brought massive pressure of expectations.
“As you can hear already, it’s just incredible,” added Verstappen. “The expectations were very high going into the weekend and it’s never easy to fulfil that.”
“But I’m of course so happy to win here, to take the lead in the championship. It’s an amazing day. Just the whole crowd. It’s incredible. The start was very important.”
“I think we did that well, and then of course Mercedes tried to make it very difficult for us but we countered them all the time really well. We can be really pleased with the whole team performance today.”