Verstappen: Red Bull’s 2020 start key to my future

Max Verstappen thinks both Red Bull’s Formula 1 title hopes and his own future with the team rest on a strong start to 2020.

The Dutchman is well aware that in recent seasons his outfit has often been playing catch-up against rivals who start campaigns in much stronger shape.

He knows it cannot afford to do that next year if it is to mount a serious title bid, during a campaign where he has to make up his mind about what he does from 2021.

Reacting to comments from his team boss Christian Horner that this year was Verstappen’s best in F1, he said at the FIA Prize Gala: “For me it had to be the best year. That is just natural. I think just the experience you gain over the years it definitely helps you a lot.

“The package this year, in the beginning, it was a bit of a struggle. We could not really fight for victories. Podiums were also quite hard. So it was all about trying to be as consistent as we could be.

“We just hope that we can be more competitive next year. We know that we have to be competitive from the start and want to be able to fight for the title. So we are putting all our efforts into that. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re going to go for it. We’re going to try everything we can.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

With Verstappen out of contract at the end of next year, he is an obvious candidate for Mercedes if the German car manufacturer loses Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari from 2021.

But despite the looming silly season, Verstappen says he would not think too much about his future yet – although says Red Bull’s performance early next year would be crucial for him.

Asked whether he was considering all options for the future, he said: “To be honest, I don’t really think about it too much. I know there are other possibilities of course after next year.

“I have one more year under contract. But I think what is more important is that we just see what happens in the beginning of the season. And then from there onwards we’ll see what happens.”

He is adamant, however, that he has faith Red Bull can deliver him a world title at some point.

“Well, that’s what I believe. That’s why I’m with the team,” he said. “I think, you know, they’ve shown in the past, they could do it. So it’s not something which is just wishful thinking.

“It’s not easy. You know that the competition is very strong. But like I said before, we’re going to try everything next year, because it’s going to be an important year, and then we’ll see what happens.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

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