Verstappen: 'No reason' to believe in 2022 title, for now


A downbeat Max Verstappen says he currently has "no reason to believe" he'll win the F1 title this year after suffering his second DNF in three races and given Red Bull's performance relative to Ferrari.

Verstappen was sidelined from last weekend's Australian Grand Prix with 20 laps to go for a reason that Red Bull has yet to divulge.

The Dutchman had spent most of his 38 laps in second position behind race winner Charles Leclerc, but without being able to challenge the Ferrari driver.

Verstappen's 46-point deficit to Leclerc in the Drivers' standings after just three rounds has already left the Red Bull charger and his team in catch-up mode.


"Being already so far down in the championship, I think it's 46 points, from now on we need to be ahead," Verstappen said when asked about his title chances after last Sunday's race.

"We need to be quicker, which we are not at the moment, and we need to be reliable, which we are also not. So there's a lot of things to work on.”

"I don't even think about it. At the moment, there is no reason to believe in it.”

Verstappen joked in Melbourne that he would now need "45 races" to bridge the gap with Leclerc rival, but Red Bull team boss Christian Horner sounded a more optimistic note.

"We’re only just over 10% of the way into the championship," he said. "So I think there’s still a huge amount to go. The encouraging thing is we’ve got the basis of a quick car.

“He [Verstappen] is obviously frustrated, but he knows we’re all in it together as a team.

"We’ll bounce back. I’m sure he’ll be coming back strong at Imola."

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