Verstappen: Red Bull mustn’t throw away title chance like BMW

Max Verstappen has urged his Red Bull Formula 1 team to keep pushing on with development and not risk losing the 2021 title while focusing on next year’s car.

Verstappen: Red Bull mustn’t throw away title chance like BMW

His view has echoes of a strategic mistake made by BMW Sauber in 2008.

That year the Swiss-based team had a competitive car, and after scoring his first grand prix win in Canada, Robert Kubica led the world championship by four points from Lewis Hamilton.

However, BMW opted early on to switch its focus to 2009, believing that the following season would bring it a better chance of success.

The team’s form faded over the balance of 2008, and Kubica eventually finished fourth, 23 points behind champion Hamilton. The 2009 car then turned out to be disastrously uncompetitive, and BMW pulled out of F1 at the end of the season.

This year, all F1 teams have to make the difficult decision on when to fully switch their focus to their 2022 projects.

Verstappen made it clear that Red Bull should not give up too early on this year’s programme.

“We just have to keep pushing, we have to keep bringing new bits to the car,” he said.

“I'm confident if we keep doing that, and keep learning from things that sometimes still go wrong, in terms of whatever, set-up directions or things…You learn every single weekend, right?

“So if we just keep adjusting and learning from that, then I'm sure we can have a very strong season.”

Asked to clarify his thoughts on continuing development, he made it clear that the team could not guarantee that it will still have a winning package in 2022.

“I think as long as we have a big chance of winning this championship, we shouldn't let it go.

“It's of course difficult to say, you know, this year is a bit tricky, but next year, we can win it. You never know. But when you have a chance this year, for sure, we will go for it.”

Reminded of the BMW example, he said: “That's why you have to keep on going. I think we have enough good people in the team to also have a good car for next year.”

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber F1.08

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber F1.08

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Verstappen believes that his team is operating on a high level this season.

“I heard another team saying that we make more mistakes," he said. "And clearly, I don't think that is the case. Of course, nobody's perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. But so far, I think we've made the smallest mistakes in of course a tight championship battle.

“So I trust the team a lot. I mean, every time I drive into the pitlane, I know 99.9% of the time, I'm going to have a great stop. And that's also very nice, to come into a pit lane like that, to trust the guys.”

Read Also:

He also praised Honda for the progress it has made this season, with the team having dominated a race on a track where straightline performance is so important.

“I think so far this year, Honda made a good step forward, I think we're very close in performance. Sometimes also be difficult to say with wing levels or whatever. But I think overall, we are getting closer and closer.

“Because it's not only about engine power, it's about a lot of different things where you have to be good at, with the engine. But yeah, we are getting better and better all the time, which is of course great to see.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes has "really promising" theory about recent F1 struggles

Previous article

Mercedes has "really promising" theory about recent F1 struggles

Next article

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight
Load comments
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

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

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
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021