Verstappen: "Stupid" to question my motivation despite Mercedes advantage

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen says it would be "stupid" to question his motivation, despite the current superiority of the rival Mercedes package

Since his retirement from the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, Verstappen has been on the podium at every subsequent race, but only managed to beat both Mercedes at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas had tyre issues.

At last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, the Dutchman made his frustration clear after a race he described as "pretty boring" in which he spent most of the race managing his tyres, unable to challenge the Black Arrows ahead.

But when asked in Thursday's Italian Grand Prix media session if it was difficult for him to stay motivated in 2020, Verstappen made it clear that was not the case.

"I don't understand why people think you wouldn't be motivated," he said.

"You have one of the best jobs in the world, you're driving super fast cars. And I'm driving third or second, and I had one win.

"So I find it incredible that people think you wouldn't be motivated.

"It's really stupid, I love what I'm doing.

"Every weekend I come here and I love driving the car, and I want to of course try to challenge them, but if it's not possible I settle for the best result possible in the car I have, and then I'm still enjoying it."

Asked if he agreed with the recent suggestion by Red Bull motorsport chief Helmut Marko that he could still win the championship, Verstappen conceded that its RB16 is still "too slow".

"Well, we won't give up, but I'm very realistic that at the moment we're just too slow." he said.

"We need luck to win races and actually gain some points back.

"At the moment it looks like we're still in a championship fight, but every race I'm more or less losing seven points, so at one point it will of course be very big, the gap.

"But every single weekend I try to of course get the best out of it.

"It's not like I'm down or anything, but be realistic.

"In Spa again, we were half a second slower a lap compared to them, so you can't really fight them at the moment."

The Italian Grand Prix will be the first race staged following the ban on engine modes, which Marko said he expects will favour the Honda-powered Red Bull.

Verstappen said that not having to adjust settings means life in the cockpit will be "a bit easier".

"Not that it was very difficult before, but you just stay in one mode in the restart, or to start, and it's a bit better I guess," he said.

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