Red Bull’s Max Verstappen anticipates that the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend will be a difficult one for his team, so places an emphasis on collecting solid points even when Ferrari are stronger.
Ferrari have demonstrated superb race pace over the last few rounds while still proving their speed over one lap, as evidenced by Charles Leclerc’s seventh pole position of the season last weekend in France.
The Monegasque was leading from Verstappen, who had looked quicker in the first stint, when he span at Turn 11 and crashed into the barrier.
The reigning champion went on to take the win as a result, but accidents like the one Leclerc suffered in Le Castellet are proof that the tide can change at any moment, so he remains focused on the task at hand.
“Of course, it’s a great lead but a lot of things can happen and I just want to stay focused; we need a lot more good results, a lot more one-lap pace,” Verstappen told Formula1.com.
“The next race is Budapest, and I think that will be a bit more of a struggle for us, where I think Ferrari is going to be really, really quick.
“It’s all about scoring points every single race, even when it’s not your race.”
The 24-year-old conceded that there is plenty more work to be done by his Red Bull team in order to keep Ferrari at bay.
“From our side, we know that we have to find – especially over one lap – quite a bit of performance but we’ll be working on it,” added Verstappen.
In the race on Sunday, Verstappen observed that Leclerc was not quite as rapid as he expected he might be.
“I thought he would be faster, I thought it would be very hard to follow, but immediately I could see that our balance was not bad,” he explained.
“It looked like we were very competitive and that is of course what we like to see.
“They [Ferrari] probably of course learned quite a lot, but I think also you know people are also bringing upgrades and sometimes that also helps tyre degradation.”
Verstappen’s win last weekend in France puts him 63 points clear of Leclerc in the Drivers’ Standings.