Max: 'I'm confident we'll be closer in qualifying'

Published on 09 July 2020 by Stefan Meens

After the Austrian Grand Prix marked the start of the 2020 Formula 1 last week, this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix will also be held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Ahead of the race, in which Max Verstappen will don a special red, white and blue helmet, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver chatted to the international media on Thursday afternoon.

Last weekend was the first race with the new Honda power-unit. Do you notice a change? Max: “I think we made good progress, but it looks like Mercedes made even bigger steps. We have to keep pushing to improve, both on the engine and chassis front.”

On the topic of the chassis, how pleased are you with the RB16? Max: If you look at the data, we’re hardly slower in the corners. In most turns we are quicker. But I’m not yet happy with the balance of the car throughout the whole corner. On this track you need a bit of confidence, especially in the faster corners, so we have to find a way to get a better balance in the car. I’m confident we will be closer in qualifying. I’m not saying we’ll beat the Mercedes but if we’re within two or three tenths, it’s game on!”

Last week, you used the medium Pirelli compound to progress from Q2 into Q3, hoping to gain a strategic advantage in the race. Will you try to do the same this weekend? Max: “First it depends on the weather, maybe it rains on Saturday. If it does, everyone will have free tyre choice on Sunday. It also depends on the temperature on Sunday; it’s set to be cooler than last week. I also hope the car feels a bit better than last week, so we haven’t made our decision yet.”

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