‘Doesn’t matter who’s next to me, I’ll beat them’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon

Max Verstappen doesn’t care who Red Bull puts in the other car, he’s convinced he will “beat them” whoever teams up with him.

There’s been a lot of chatter in recent weeks regarding Red Bull’s 2021 driver line up.

Although the team has insisted several times that it is sticking with Alexander Albon, pundits have called for a change saying the team needs two strong drivers to challenge Mercedes.

Sebastian Vettel’s name was in the mix, although he’s now out after signing with Aston Martin, a move that saw Sergio Perez’s name thrown into the hat.

According to MoviStar, team boss Christian Horner has spoken with Perez but wanted to give Albon until the end of September to prove his worth.

He did just that with a P3 at Sunday’s Tuscan Grand Prix.

That, however, doesn’t mean the rumours are dying down with Nico Hulkenberg also thought to be an option.

Asked who he wants as a team-mate, Verstappen bullish said it doesn’t matter.

“Helmut [Marko] and Christian have been saying for a long time that they don’t want to change anything,” he told ORF. “That’s okay from my side.

“In the end it doesn’t matter who sits next to me. I would beat them all.”

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Max Verstappen

While Albon raced to the Tuscan podium, Verstappen recorded his third retirement of this season.

Trailing Lewis Hamilton by 80 points in the Drivers’ standings, the 22-year-old doesn’t believe he has a chance at year’s title, nor next year’s given that Formula 1 has already decided to race this year’s cars in next year’s championship.

“I hope that we will be closer to Mercedes next year,” he said. “I don’t think we will beat them.

“With Corona you can’t change that much about the car. But I hope that there will be a new direction for us in 2022 with the new regulations.”

He added: “If you are so far away and you are also too slow, that won’t happen. We still want to win every weekend. But the championship is over.”

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