DC doubts Verstappen’s title challenge

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen Mercedes Red Bull

David Coulthard doubts Max Verstappen's 2020 title chances.

Ex-Red Bull driver David Coulthard believes their current star man Max Verstappen may have to wait another year to become World Champion.

The Dutchman went into the 2020 campaign with ambitions of denying Mercedes the Drivers’ Championship for the first time since 2013, with Red Bull also saying before this season started that they were at their strongest since that year when they won the last of their Drivers’ and Constructors’ title doubles.

Thus far it hasn’t quite worked out that way with Verstappen sitting P3 in the Drivers’ Championship, 30 points behind Lewis Hamilton at the top after three rounds.

Mercedes have taken every pole and race win so far this season, and the W11 is looking like arguably the Silver Arrows’ most dominant car yet.

There have of course only been three rounds with a minimum of 13 set to take place this year, but already Coulthard believes Verstappen may have to settle for delaying his title pursuit by a year.

But, he doesn’t worry about the Dutchman going without a race win this season.

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“I’m not worried about that, because Max is an exceptional driver and Red Bull is a team that can build winning cars,” he told Dutch outlet Formule 1.

“I just don’t know if that’s enough to be a champion this year. After the winter tests, I didn’t expect [the gap to Mercedes] to be that big.

“It seems that Mercedes has built another winning car, for which they deserve all credit. There is still a long way to go this year.”

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Next up for Formula 1 is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and Verstappen is hoping for a bit of rain to aid his challenge for a first win this season – not that a wet track has been able to stop Mercedes so far in 2020.

“I’m looking forward to the next triple header and Silverstone is a really nice track to drive,” he told the Honda F1 website.

“The corners at Silverstone are insanely fast and Copse is flat out! Maggots is also flat out in seventh gear which is already crazy, especially in qualifying as you don’t even tap the brake anymore, you just downshift.

“At Silverstone you have to get the right wing level, and of course for the lower speed corners you prefer more downforce and grip.

“Obviously it can rain at Silverstone, even though it is summer in the UK (laughs) but I like those conditions and maybe we wouldn’t mind the rain as it could mix things up.”

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