David Coulthard believes 2020 will be a huge season for Red Bull Racing, especially if they want to persuade Max Verstappen to sign a new contract for 2021 and beyond.
This season, Red Bull’s first with Honda power, was a step in the right direction for both the team and Verstappen who claimed three race wins.
However, the Dutchman was never once in the race for the World title with Mercedes dominating that show.
Coulthard, a former driver turned pundit, reckons Red Bull have to give their star driver a fighting shot at the title if they hope to keep him out of Mercedes’ clutches.
“2020 will be a big season for Red Bull Racing and also for Max’s future,” DC told De Telegraaf newspaper.
“Max is one of the best drivers in Formula 1, but isn’t achieving the results that match.
“But then again he hasn’t had the opportunity to race for the win every week.
“It would be good for Formula 1 if Max, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc all had cars with the potential to win races.”
He added: “Mercedes has had the best package for six years in a row. That is of course frustrating, both for Ferrari and for Red Bull.
“You know, I would love it if Max stayed with Red Bull for a long time but I can fully understand that if he wants to leave if Red Bull and Honda can’t fight for the title.
“That is the nature of the beast.”
Coulthard added that it is not about whether Verstappen should be patient with Red Bull but is confident that the Dutchman has the right team and right attitude to made the best decision.
He added: “The question is not whether he is, or should be, patient, because he has the talent but you also need a good car in a whole year.
“Red Bull has been the perfect place for Max to get into Formula 1 and to develop his personality.
“Don’t forget that he has a great team around him, with his family and father Jos and manager Raymond Vermeulen in particular.
“And one of the things I really love Max: he really is a normal guy with both feet on the ground. He is grateful for the talent he has.”