Red Bull's Verstappen: Only Mercedes understands F1's 2019 cars

Max Verstappen thinks Mercedes is alone in being the only team not "struggling" to understand how to improve its 2019 Formula 1 car

Red Bull's Verstappen: Only Mercedes understands F1's 2019 cars

Red Bull has made progress with an update at Barcelona this weekend, which helped him split the two Ferraris to take fourth on the grid, but Verstappen says his team is still not where it wants to be.

And although the team is slowly getting on top of the issues that hurt it at the beginning of the season, Verstappen thinks the complexity of the 2019 cars has made finding ways to improve more difficult than in the past.

"I'm not a designer, I just try to drive as quick as I can," said Verstappen, when asked if there was a chance Red Bull could close the gap on Mercedes this season.

"If it would be all that easy to understand, then every race we would improve the car. At the moment this year, I think in general, the cars are not that easy to understand [in] how to make them a lot faster.

"Mercedes seems to understand, but I think in general all the other ones as well, we've all been struggling a bit more."

Verstappen played down suggestions that Red Bull was held back by balance issues early in the campaign, as he said key to the RB15's progress is simply in adding more downforce.

"I was never really struggling with the balance window," he said. "I was just driving to the limit of the car.

"If I would go faster, I would just drift off the track - I never really had massive oversteer, massive understeer, except Bahrain where we had the set-up mistake.

"I think we upgraded it and the car is again a bit quicker, although just [in terms of] general grip, it's still not where we want it to be."

He added: "Mercedes was just too quick all weekend, and I think we did a good job to at least get one Ferrari. Because even they looked a little bit too quick after FP3 as well."

Asked if it was depressing that Mercedes had been able to make gains to pull even further ahead, Verstappen said: "I've never seen anything else in Formula 1.

"For me it's not depressing. We're just very motivated and determined to try and close the gap, but it's not easy.

"If it was that easy, you would have a lot of people and a lot of teams in F1."

shares
comments
Spanish GP chiefs confident of keeping Barcelona on 2020 calendar

Previous article

Spanish GP chiefs confident of keeping Barcelona on 2020 calendar

Next article

Mercedes wanted ’19 F1 mule car delay, signed up after Renault move

Mercedes wanted ’19 F1 mule car delay, signed up after Renault move
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021