Verstappen: Red Bull needs ‘different way of working’ to beat Mercedes

Max Verstappen believes Red Bull needs to find a “different way of working” to topple the domination of the mighty Mercedes squad.

With four rounds to go, Verstappen is on course to finish third in the 2020 Drivers’ standings while Red Bull will conclude its campaign runner-up to rival Mercedes.

The Dutchman’s track record this year hasn’t allowed him to challenge consistently for race wins, let alone for the world title.

Verstappen’s single victory year-to-date came at the sport’s 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone, courtesy of an outstanding drive coupled with a flawless execution of the perfect strategy against a rival – Mercedes – that struggled with tyre wear.

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Overall however, Red Bull’s RB16 just hasn’t measured up against the championship winning team’s W11 contender.

So what will it take for Red Bull to be able to battle its arch-rival consistently from Australia to Abu Dhabi?

“There are quite a few things at the moment,” says Verstappen in an interview published in the official Formula 1 magazine.

“First of all we are always too slow at the beginning [of the season], so we need to make sure we have a car that hits the ground running and is a lot more competitive.

“How to do that? Clearly we haven’t found it, so we need to change our approach,” he added. “We need to find a different way of working.

“In terms of operations, we are good: we have really good pitstops, we’re good at strategy.

“I don’t think there are a lot of things that go wrong there. Besides that, clearly this year we were lacking in power. There are quite a few things we have to work on to be able to fight them [Mercedes].”


While Verstappen is obviously disappointed with how the current season has panned out, he admitted his spot in the pecking order is warranted.

“Yeah, I’m in the middle of nowhere in this championship,” he said. “From my side, I never thought I was in a championship battle. I will finish third [overall] if I don’t keep retiring.

“In general, that’s the place where we belong. If you are 60 points or 10 behind in third, it doesn’t really matter, you’re slower.

“We just need to learn why we have these issues because to have three retirements [at the time of our interview] is not good. We just have to try to do better.”

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Red Bull’s engineers have improved their 2020 contender and ironed out part of the faults and weaknesses embedded in a design concept that has been deemed as too aggressive in hindsight.

However, RB16 remains a tricky proposition – as Alex Albon would attest – that catches its drivers off-guard with any attempt to carry it towards or beyond its limit.

But Verstappen denies he has become increasingly frustrated with Red Bull’s inability to consistently tackle Mercedes and Hamilton’s hegemonic domination.

“I have a lot of respect for what they’ve achieved,” he said. “I’m not frustrated about Lewis in a Mercedes car.

“To be honest, 90 percent of the field could win in that car. Nothing against Lewis, he’s a great driver, but the car is so dominant.

“OK, maybe others wouldn’t be as dominant as Lewis is, but you accept the situation you are in and you just try to make the best of it. I’m not frustrated, I’m more focused on what can we do to try and beat them.”

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