Verstappen "shocked" at "too slow" Red Bull gap to Mercedes in Styrian GP

Max Verstappen says Red Bull is "a bit too slow", after being unable to stop Lewis Hamilton storming to victory in the Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix

Verstappen "shocked" at "too slow" Red Bull gap to Mercedes in Styrian GP

The Dutchman had high hopes of being able to challenge pole position man Hamilton thanks to his front row start, but was never able to threaten the reigning world champion's Mercedes and eventually finished third.

Having sat around five seconds adrift for much of the afternoon, he dropped further away after picking up damage to his front wing end-plate after his pitstop.

This helped Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to overhaul him late in the race, although Verstappen managed to briefly re-pass the Finn at Turn 6 when Bottas made his first attempt at a move at Turn 4.

Speaking after the race, Verstappen welcomed a podium finish after his retirement from last week's Austrian Grand Prix with an electrical fault in his power unit, but said the race had been "boring" due to the Red Bull's lack of pace relative to the Mercedes.

"I tried but we are a bit too slow," he said about his battle with Hamilton.

"I did what I could also when Valtteri passed me.

"I tried to make it a bit difficult, because he was anyway going to get by one lap later.

"But at least it was a bit fun because the race was boring.

"[The] podium was good but still a lot of work to do."

Verstappen explained that Red Bull is lagging behind Mercedes with both its chassis and engine, as he reckoned more work was needed if the team was going to close the gap.

"I was just pushing as hard as I could to stay with them, but clearly it is still not good enough," he said.

"The gap compared to the guys behind were massive, I was a bit shocked.

"I tried everything I could, but it's still not enough.

"To bounce back from zero points last week to a podium now is a good start, but I think as a team we want to win and we want to fight for the championship.

"If you want to fight for the championship of course you need to win races."

He added: "We need to look into it. I think we lose quite a bit on the straight as well, so it's a bit of both at the moment.

"We need to keep on working harder to try and close the gap."

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F1 Styrian GP: Second place "damage limitation", says Bottas
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