Max Verstappen’s Mercedes dilemma unravelled after Red Bull’s nightmare start to F1 season

Max Verstappen will be wondering how he’s ever going to win an F1 title unless he’s in a Mercedes. That’s according to former F1 driver Martin Brundle, who says Red Bull could ill afford their nightmare start to the season in Austria.

Verstappen and team-mate Alex Albon ended up with DNFs on their record following the first race at the Red Bull Ring after being failed by their RB16s.

Verstappen has since recorded third and second-place finishes at the Styrian and Hungarian Grands Prix respectively.


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The 22-year-old is, though, already 30 points adrift of leader Lewis Hamilton and his title hopes will be dealt another blow if he doesn’t win Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

Brundle believes Verstappen will be exasperated by what looked to be an ideal start to the season going so wrong.

And he says the dominance of Mercedes duo Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will be giving the highly-rated Dutchman plenty to think about.

“I think he’s going to be very frustrated,” Brundle told Express Sport. “Just a few laps into the season [he suffers a DNF]. DNFs are just not an option and he had one.

“We hear a few more frustrated calls, but then the team has been incredible in the pit stops. The team was incredible getting him in the race [in Hungary] and I think he really appreciated that. [It’s] one for all and all for one there to an extent.

“Max has got to look around and think: ‘How am I going to win a World Championship if Mercedes are hanging around? And how am I going to get in a Mercedes, at some point?'”

Pre-season title hopefuls Red Bull are second in the constructors’ standings but there is a gulf of 66 points separating them from leaders Mercedes.


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Brundle has confidence in Christian Horner’s team as they try to harness the immense potential the RB16 showed in testing earlier this year.

He says, however, they need to find a solution to their problems quickly to stop Mercedes streaking further away from them.

“Normally you see Red Bull with the package that appears to have all the ingredients and then they end up making the souffle rise somehow, about mid-season, in the most impressive way,” Brundle said. “But they don’t have that facility.

“It appears the car has got a lot of potential but they’ve got to drag it out. We’ll see at Silverstone. I think the chassis is strong enough. [Engine suppliers] Honda look strong enough.

“Let’s see what the long corners of Silverstone do for them and what they’ve managed to find out. They’ll dial in and they’ll get that car on song. It’s a question of when.”

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