Max Verstappen: Renault and McLaren not a threat to Red Bull

Max Verstappen says he does not consider McLaren and Renault as major rivals for Red Bull in 2018, amid growing optimism about the pace of his RB14 Formula 1 car

Max Verstappen: Renault and McLaren not a threat to Red Bull

Red Bull has had a strong pre-season testing programme so far, with Daniel Ricciardo topping the Barcelona times on Wednesday and Mercedes technical director James Allison singling out the team for praise.

But while Red Bull is not yet bullish enough to declare itself firmly a victory contender, Verstappen has made it clear that he is no longer worried about opposition from within the Renault-powered camp.

"You pay attention to everybody, but I don't think they will be our main rivals," he told Autosport about the potential threat from McLaren and Renault.

"And we don't want that to be the case as well, because that would mean we are not doing such a good job. We need to look [at the teams] ahead."

Verstappen said that there had been no dramas in testing and everything was progressing as expected.

"Yeah, quite good," he said. "Pretty relaxed. I do my own thing and we manage to do our laps.

"For sure this week is better than last week, in terms of temperatures and what you can learn from the car."

Verstappen's bullishness about the car is matched by Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, who thinks that the team's chassis is strong enough to fight with Mercedes.

Although he concedes engine modes may give his rivals a qualifying advantage, he thinks suggestions Mercedes could be suffering from rear tyre management issues is reason to believe things could swing back in Red Bull's favour in the races.

When asked by Sky if he felt Red Bull could fight with the reigning champion team, he said "I would say from the chassis side, yes. But Mercedes in qualifying, there always comes from the engine an extra two or three tenths.

"If you compare our car to last year's car it is so much more sophisticated, and so far everything is working as we expected. Hopefully we can match them."

Pushed on whether Red Bull could be the team to beat on slow speed circuits, Marko added: "We won one race last year by our own. There was no problem with Mercedes when we beat [Lewis] Hamilton [at Sepang].

"What we have seen is that their rear tyres are overheating. It is depending on the overall package and we still have something to come, so we are positive."

Marko also feels Red Bull has an advantage over Ferrari, despite Sebastian Vettel's record breaking lap of Barcelona on Thursday.

"Vettel just did a 1m17.6s but it is cooler today," he said. "We don't know the sort of load of fuel they have, but from a package overall, and let's say on this circuit, it looks like we are a little bit ahead."

shares
comments
F1 testing: Vettel fastest by more than a second on Thursday morning
Previous article

F1 testing: Vettel fastest by more than a second on Thursday morning

Next article

Formula 1 testing: Vettel's Ferrari stays fastest with record lap

Formula 1 testing: Vettel's Ferrari stays fastest with record lap
The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best" Plus

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best"

OPINION: The late battling in the British Grand Prix wowed Formula 1 fans and surely represents the best racing action of the season so far. And there was a cocktail of factors that created the action, from which Carlos Sainz emerged as a popular new winner

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine Plus

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

OPINION: Ferrari won the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz, but it ultimately cost Charles Leclerc a chance to make a bigger dent in Max Verstappen's title lead by leaving the Monegasque out on old tyres towards the end. Like Monaco, indecision over strategy proved to be the Scuderia's biggest issue - and if the team doesn't reflect, the headache can only intensify

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost Plus

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Formula 1
Jul 4, 2022
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022