Red Bull’s Max Verstappen says it would be “stupid” to question his motivation because of Mercedes’ supremacy, insisting he still has “one of the best jobs in the world”.
Verstappen has done his best to challenge his Mercedes rivals this season, finishing on the podium in every race save for the opening round in Austria and winning the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.
However, on pure speed, Red Bull’s RB16 remains outpaced by Mercedes’ W11, limiting for now Verstappen’s burning ambitions. Yet the Dutchman’s motivation is as strong as ever, and any suggestion to the contrary upsets the Red Bull charger.
“I don’t understand why people think you wouldn’t be motivated,” he said in Monza ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
“You have one of the best jobs in the world, you’re driving super-fast cars. And I’m driving third or second, and I had one win. So I find it incredible that people think you wouldn’t be motivated.
“It’s really stupid. I love what I’m doing. Every weekend I come here and I love driving the car, and I want to of course try to challenge them.
“But if it’s not possible I settle for the best result possible in the car I have, and then I’m still enjoying it.”
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Both Helmut Marko and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believe that Verstappen is still a contender for the world championship. But Verstappen has a realistic view on his bosses’ assertions.
“Well, we won’t give up, but I’m very realistic that at the moment we’re just too slow. We need luck to win races and actually gain some points back,” he said.
“Like at the moment it looks like we’re still in a championship fight, but every race I’m more or less losing seven points, so at one point it will of course be very big, the gap. Like I said, just being realistic, I think it’s good.
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“But every single weekend I try to of course get the best out of it. I mean, it’s not like I’m down or anything, but be realistic. I think in Spa again, we were half a second slower a lap, compared to them, so you can’t really fight them at the moment.”
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