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Verstappen on battle with Hamilton: 'We're still behind him'

Verstappen on battle with Hamilton: 'We're still behind him'

02-06-2021 13:28 Last update: 16:48
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For the first time in Formula 1 history a Dutchman is leading the championship. This was the result of the victory in Monaco, but the question remains if Max Verstappen can continue this. In an interview with Italian Sky Sports, the Dutchman talks about the battle.

Never before have Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing come so close to winning the title: "When you're fighting to stay in front, you can't afford mistakes that give Lewis a 25, 18 or 15 point advantage," the Dutchman said. "In the past, if we had a car that gave us a good chance of winning the race, we would give it everything to try and win the race, knowing we couldn't fight for the championship. But now we are fighting for the title, we can't risk scoring zero points somewhere. That means sometimes now you have to choose whether you want to fight for something."

Verstappen is more thoughtful

In the past, Verstappen was sometimes criticised for not being thoughtful enough. When asked if he is now, he replied, "I am. But I think that's natural. There's nothing strange about that. You can't always be the same either. I've been through it [title contention] before. I come from karting and there were also very long seasons and many races, just like in Formula 3. It's not just a matter of always scoring the maximum number of points, it's also choosing the moments when you give everything."

Mercedes still stronger

Verstappen himself also has doubts about whether he can maintain the lead. The Monaco GP is a special circuit that not many other races resemble. Whether there is a balanced battle? "Not yet, no. We are still behind. But that's okay. We will still work on that." Still, Verstappen is satisfied with the steps the team has made. "We learned a lot from the mistakes we made last year. We ended up with a very competitive car, after it wasn't that competitive at the beginning of the season. We improved the car as much as we could, it wasn't possible to tackle everything. This year we see a good step forward in many ways, but we want to improve even more. It's never enough, so we keep pushing." The Baku GP will be an exciting race for Verstappen. Never before has the same driver won for a second time at that circuit. The Dutchman is not yet on the list of winners, but maybe this will change this weekend.

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