After putting on a strong performance at Spa, the Red Bull racer believes his main competitors should be closer.
For this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, Max Verstappen wants a much tougher fight with Ferrari.
At the fast-paced Spa Francorchamps, the Red Bull team experienced great success, but Verstappen anticipates a more competitive race at Zandvoort thanks to its shorter straightaways and banked corners.
“I think it will be closer together here. Spa was great for us and better than expected. It was just the car in combination with the track layout because it suited our car very well,” he tells media.
“Here in Zandvoort you use a lot of downforce, the layout is completely different and there are fewer straights.
“If we can get our set-up in order, the car will be very fast again. It’s just a question mark how fast we will be compared to the rest.”
Verstappen’s racing is more suited to the RB18
Verstappen wasn’t very pleased with the RB18 at the start of the season, but now that work has advanced behind the scenes, he looks more at home.
The defending world champion thinks the changes have given him a greater setup window than his competitors because he has nine victories so far this season, the most of any racer on the circuit.
He explained: “We keep trying to improve the balance and the feel in the car. It’s a pretty efficient car and we’re good on the straights. We’re going better on some tracks than others, but I think Spa as a track has it best suited our car.”
“With all the updates we’ve had throughout the year, we’ve got the car in a better window and the car feels much nicer to drive.
“We started the season with a really big car and we had to wait a bit for that to get better. That didn’t help at the beginning, but slowly we managed to improve that situation.”
Verstappen concedes that Spa might have been an exception because the squad was able to begin the weekend in its ideal setup right away.
“We also generally understood the new rules better and better, so we were able to find an increasingly better set-up. So you see that the car changes little by little. Spa was just a really good weekend, from the first round. That’s the first time in five years that the car was spot on right away.”
Dutch GP, F1, F1 2022, FIA, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Max Verstappen, Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, RB18