Max Verstappen believes the issues that impacted the performance of Red Bull's 2020 car were made bigger than they actually were by the media.
Verstappen won just two races last season, a track record that fell well short of Red Bull's expectations. While misfortune and mechanical issues contributed to the Dutchman's disappointing campaign, the inconsistent performance of Red Bull's RB16 also weighed on the team's results.
Verstappen undeniably adapted better to the RB16's seemingly unpredictable behaviour than teammate Alex Albon.
For many, the 10-time Grand Prix winner, thanks to his finesse and control, made the car look better than it was. But Verstappen says the media also portrayed the RB16 as exaggeratedly weak.
"I think this [the car’s issues] was made bigger in the media," Verstappen told Motorsport-Total.com.
"We had the second fastest car. I think there were a lot worse cars to drive out there.
"We had a few spins and stuff in pre-season and when you drive on the limit, the car is not easy to drive. Maybe ours was a bit harder compared to Mercedes, but it was probably better than Williams’."
On Sundays Verstappen was often racing on his own behind the unassailable leading pair of Mercedes Black Arrows of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
But overall, the 23-year old believes he enjoyed a better season than in 2019.
"I think it was better than 2019 again, just a bit more consistent," he said.
"But, yeah, I’ve been on my own for a few races … I just like to chase Mercedes! The car wasn’t bad, but of course we were still a bit short of Mercedes.
"I’m not frustrated, just a bit powerless sometimes. I’m still trying to get the best result out of it, which I think we did most of the time. So I think that’s good."