Max Verstappen admits Red Bull’s hopes for 2020 look bleak at this point after he struggled to only seventh on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Red Bull had been Mercedes’ closest challenger in the two races in Austria and highlighted the Hungaroring as a venue that should suit its car more. However, the opposite has proven true as Red Bull has struggled to provide a stable car and Mercedes pulled a second clear of the field, with Verstappen conceding the overall signs are not good.
“I honestly haven’t thought that far ahead … it’s definitely not looking great,” Verstappen said. “I hope this is going to be our worst weekend and really hopefully learn a lot from this and try to rectify it a little bit for the upcoming races.
“(Mercedes) are far ahead, so it will be difficult to catch them. Clearly if we have performance like this, then of course we are very far out of reach.”
With Verstappen spinning in final practice — one of a number of similar moments he has suffered this season — the Dutchman says it highlights how tricky to handle the car is.
“I have been spinning before — it’s not like it happens only this weekend. Clearly, so far this year it’s not been the easiest car to drive. If you drive it on the limit, it’s always going to be easy to spin or lock up because otherwise you’re not pushing, but clearly this one, as soon as you get to that point where you are close to having a moment, it just goes and it’s not easy to catch.”
Verstappen says there are no obvious reasons for the problems the team is facing, believing the car itself is temperamental and lacking pace in a number of areas.
“We just don’t have a good balance throughout the corner. Understeer, oversteer, lack of grip, not having a lot of top speed as well, so everything together just makes it slow.
“Of course, if we would have understood then we would have changed it or made it better, but clearly something is wrong still — we’re still looking into it.
“I don’t think it’s setup because then I would be blaming my engineer, which I think is not the case. No, it’s not setup related.
“It’s the same feeling every lap, but of course you keep pushing to the limit and when you get to that limit it becomes a bit tricky and easy to lose the rear.”