Max Verstappen believes that the outcome of the title fight could be determined by which of Mercedes and Red Bull develops their car more.
For the first time in the hybrid era, Red Bull look to have built a car capable of challenging the German team for both titles this year.
They’re slightly quicker at the moment, and the pecking order isn’t expected to change a huge amount throughout the season as the amount teams can develop their cars has been limited as a result of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, Verstappen still expects that to be a key area.
“It’s a team effort. So of course I try to be as good as I can and the team tries to be as good as they can be, that’s at the end of the day how you win championships,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“Throughout the season I think it’s going to depend on who is going to develop the fastest and bring more things to the car.
“We’ll have to stay on top of that and then I’m confident as a team we can do a good job.”
Red Bull are widely considered to be in with a better chance than ever in recent times of winning the Constructors’ Championship, not only because of the improved car but also because of their driver line-up.
With Sergio Perez replacing Alex Albon, the team boasts one of the strongest pairings on the grid, and that was evident in Imola when the Mexican became the first team-mate to out-qualify Verstappen since 2018.
Verstappen believes that having another car in the mix will make things harder for Mercedes and give Red Bull more options. but says that the main focus has to be on outright pace rather than strategy.
“I really hope that we can put the fight to Mercedes together because that will make it more difficult for them,” the Dutchman added.
“When you have two cars fighting against one it’s always going to be a bit harder for that single car.
“But we just have to make sure we have the fastest car all the time. Then we don’t have to worry about them undercutting us, we should just try to drive away from them.”