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

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

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.

shares
comments
Williams F1 announces new board members following family exit
Previous article

Williams F1 announces new board members following family exit

Next article

How McLaren's past pain is a reality check for Ferrari

How McLaren's past pain is a reality check for Ferrari
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022