Sky F1’s Martin Brundle believes Max Verstappen will inevitably be cogitating a move to Mercedes if the title continues to elude him at Red Bull Racing.
Verstappen was seen as a man that would hit the ground running at the start of the 2020 season, armed with a strong car and kicking off his campaign at a venue where he was undefeated in the past two years.
Alas, the Dutchman was sidelined after just a handful of laps in race 1 in Austria, and while he secured two podium finishes thereafter behind Mercedes’ drivers, Red Bull’s RB16 has proved to be a difficult bull to tame, and one that has left its drivers struggling to keep up with the German outfit’s redoubtable W11 ‘Black Arrow’.
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The relative under-performance could undermine Verstappen’s plans of becoming F1’s youngest world champion, and that frustration, if sustained, could prompt the 22-year-old to eye a seat at Mercedes. Because if you can’t beat them join them!
“I think he is very frustrated,” contended Brundle, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I mean, after a few laps this season he dropped out, and what did we say? DNFs are not an option, and he has one.
“I think we’ll hear some more frustrated radio messages, but his team has been really great in the pit stops and did a great job getting him to start in Hungary.
“And I think he really appreciates that, to some extent as a kind of ‘one for all, all for one’.
“But Max will also look around and think ‘How am I going to win a world championship?’ If Mercedes continues to participate, he will also think ‘How do I get into that Mercedes at some point?’.”
However, Brundle believes Red Bull will get on top of the issues impacting its RB16, allowing Verstappen to challenge his Mercedes rivals.
“Normally Red Bull appears with a package that seems to have all the ingredients, and about halfway through the season they let it come together in the most impressive way,” said the former F1 driver.
“Once again the car seems to have a lot of potential, but they really need to extract it. We will see it at Silverstone. I think the chassis is strong enough and Honda looks strong too, but let’s wait and see.
“Let’s wait and see what the long corners at Silverstone bring them and what things they have found. They’ll master the car, but the question is when?”
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