Verstappen: Red Bull ‘still chasing’ Ferrari performance

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen pulls a face as he speaks with Charles Leclerc. Monaco May 2022

Despite being ahead of Ferrari in both championships, Max Verstappen feels Red Bull are still “chasing” the Scuderia on track.

This season Ferrari have emerged as Red Bull’s number one rival for the championship titles, the two teams evenly matched on most Sundays.

However, in the standings Verstappen and Red Bull have a decent advantage thanks in part to Ferrari’s retirements with a Ferrari failing to score four times in the last six races.

Early in the season it was Red Bull who struggled to finish races before they went on a six-race rampage that Ferrari eventually ended at Silverstone before adding another win in Austria.

But while momentum has swung between the two, Verstappen reckons Ferrari’s F1-75 has a slight edge over his RB18.

“In general, I felt like at the beginning of the year we were the ones like chasing and trying to beat Ferrari,” Verstappen said. “Then they had a few retirements and we of course took advantage of that, or through strategy calls.

“So I think overall, we, from my feeling, [are] still [doing] a bit of chasing.”

Asked if he felt the Ferrari was the quicker of the two cars, he replied: “Of course it depends a bit on the tracks, but overall, I feel they had more dominant weekends than we [did].”

Max Verstappen looks ruefully at his Red Bull car. Silverstone July 2022.

“After Melbourne, I thought if there is a possibility, we might be able to fight towards the end of the season back for a potential chance,” he added.

“And then I mean it really quickly turned around. But that also shows that it can go the other way very quickly, so we just always have to be on it. We cannot make mistakes.”

Red Bull have yet again brought new upgrades for the RB18 to the French Grand Prix, Verstappen conceding they have to continue pushing.

“We still need to bring updates to the car and we need to work all the time, and it’s no guarantee,” he said.

“People say Red Bull has been really good in the past and bringing upgrades and development. But this year we have to show it again, because every year if you start thinking like that, then normally you fall behind, because you think you are that good.

“We always have to show that we are good at it and that’s we are trying to do.”

The Dutchman will line up on the Paul Ricard grid 38 points up on Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship with Red Bull 56 ahead of Ferrari.

 

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