Max Verstappen believes he can go “two tenths quicker” than Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc if he had the same car as them.
Red Bull currently find themselves playing third fiddle with a recent revival from Ferrari giving Mercedes the biggest headache as we enter the closing stages of the 2019 season.
The frustration is building at Red Bull, and Verstappen felt that Leclerc’s pole position lap in Singapore showed him that he is not reaching his full potential.
“I personally feel that if I’m in the same car, I can go two tenths of a second faster than them,” Verstappen told Dutch publication De Telegraaf when asked about being quicker than Leclerc and also Hamilton.
“When I saw that lap [Leclerc’s Singapore pole] again, I thought ‘well, there really is some time to be gained there,’ I don’t want to sound arrogant, but as a driver you have to think you’re the fastest.”
Verstappen also feels he has, at times, performed above what the Red Bull car is really capable of this season and is already losing hope of challenging for the 2020 title.
“I think it’s clear that I sometimes overperformed this year,” Verstappen added.
“People often think ‘well Red Bull are not that bad, that team is on the same level as the rest.’ In my opinion however, we are often a little further away than it seems.
“Before Singapore, I thought we could compete for the world title next season. Maybe not anymore.
“As a team, we must try to think further ahead than we already have. We are not where we need to be. We have not yet taken the steps needed to be competitive next year.”
Verstappen currently sits fourth in the World Championship standings, three points behind third-placed Leclerc heading into the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix.