Max Verstappen has admitted it will be “very hard” for Red Bull to overcome Mercedes next weekend and win the British Grand Prix for the first time since 2012. Verstappen came into the 2020 campaign full of optimism he could truly challenge for the F1 title.
A retirement at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix seriously damaged those hopes, though, and he has since finished third and second in the subsequent races.
Verstappen is third in the World Drivers’ Championship standings – 25 points adrift of leader and defending champion Lewis Hamilton.
And the Red Bull talisman has admitted his team need to solve a “critical problem” in their RB16 if they are to have a chance of getting the better of Mercedes at Silverstone.
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“I think it will be very hard, of course, to beat them but I think it’s important for us now to understand where it went wrong and then, of course, correct it and try to learn from it and try to get it back on track,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.
“And as soon, of course, as you head into the right direction, then of course very quickly you can put a good amount of parts on the car – but first we need to really understand where the main critical problem is in the car.”
Mark Webber was the last Red Bull driver to win the British Grand Prix, with the Aussie coming out on top eight years ago.
Mercedes have since racked up six victories at Silverstone, with five of those going to home favourite Hamilton.
Team principal Christian Horner said Red Bull will use the break between the Hungarian and British Grands Prix to ensure they can get the most of the RB16.
“I think the car is in better shape in the race,” Horner said. “We’ve got some issues. We brought some updates to the car that aren’t behaving themselves and we’ve got a lot of data now, we need to understand that. Now we’ve got two weeks to try and convert that into performance in time for Silverstone.
“There’s parts of the track where we’re very strong, and there’s other parts where compared to the Mercedes we’re giving away too much time. In the race that compresses, but we need to do a better job.”
Verstappen’s team-mate Alex Albon is fifth in the drivers’ standings following a retirement and two top-five finishes.
The duo’s performances have left Red Bull second in the constructors’ standings but they are 66 points adrift of leaders Mercedes.
Horner, however, has not given up hope of Red Bull being able to turn things around and really take the fight to Mercedes.
“We had a strong pre-season, the car behaved itself very, very well through Barcelona,” Horner said. “You guys saw it knocking in the lap times.
“We had some issues in Austria last weekend but then they were very much accentuated here. This traditionally is a track that is very strong for us.
“We’ve got a lot of data, we’ve got a lot of information, and it’s now understanding that, using it and converting it into some updates and modifications to the car.
“I don’t think it will take much. We’ve got the base of a very good car here, we just need to get the guys into it quickly and I’m sure we’ll turn it around.”
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Published at Wed, 22 Jul 2020 23:02:00 +0000