Verstappen urges Red Bull to 'step up' for more success

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme.
© XPB 

Max Verstappen is pushing Red Bull to 'step up' its efforts in 2019 if it wants to achieve more successes like their famous victory in the Austrian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

He overcame a poor start to charge through the field in Spielberg, thanks in no small part to an improved power unit from the team's new engine partners Honda.

But while Verstappen welcomed the progress they had made over the course of the first nine races of the year, he said it was important that everyone keep pushing to maintain the momentum.

"Of course it’s a race victory but it doesn’t mean that we are suddenly the dominating team," he warned. "We still need to step up our performance a bit more.

"I think we still need to work hard," the Dutch driver continued. "It’s just because the car is working well [in Austria], the engine is working well, I had a good tyre management.

"When you have a good car it’s easier to look after the tyres," he pointed out. “It’s just when you have a good car you can do it.

“It’s very simple. I think I’ve had many races where I think I got the most out of it but maybe that’s P5 or P6.

"There are many races where you extracted the most out of it but it doesn’t really show because it was only P5," he commented. "For most of the people they don’t really recognise it.

“In France I was too slow but I was just trying to keep up with the Ferraris and I went through my tyres.

"In Austria it was the other way around, I had looked after my tyres initially and then had tyres at the end of the race. It is very car dependent."

The scorching temperatures in Spielberg also worked to Red Bull's advantage, while Mercedes struggled with overheating. That won't be a factor this weekend in the British Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the drivers parade.

“We need 40 degrees outside, that normally works quite well," Verstappen acknowledged. "We didn’t have much of a cooling issues compared to Mercedes. Cornering-wise I think we were more competitive than Ferrari.

"As a driver you would always like more top speed, more grip," he added. “Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to create, but we keep working.

“I always try to do the best I can," he said. "But it always makes it a bit easier when you have a good car to do it."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has repeated his praise of Verstappen's performance in the team's home Grand Prix last month.

"The sport is crying out for more drivers like Max Verstappen," he told The Guardian newspaper.

"We have the best driver in the world in my opinion. A fantastic design team and now an engine partner that is starting to deliver and close that gap, which has been our Achilles heel.

"It feels like the elements are starting to come into place," Horner added, suggesting that F1's new technical and sporting regulations for 2021 could help further level the playing field and allow for closer competition in upcoming seasons.

"It would be great to see all them fighting. Verstappen versus Hamilton, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc thrown in as well - that would be phenomenal," he said.

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