The 2020 season will finally start this weekend in Austria and one of the drivers who is in everyone’s sights is Max Verstappen. The young Dutchman, winner of the last two editions at the Red Bull Ring, noted that the team is working very hard to fight for the title, even though Mercedes remains the favorite.
Max Verstappen – Car # 33
2019 Austrian GP Results: Classification: 2nd – Race: 1st
“It’s been really weird that I haven’t been able to drive in that long and it’s the longest longest since I started karting. Fortunately, I have a simulator at home and, as you’ve probably seen, I’ve been using it a lot during the break. I am glad that we can compete again now, but this time it was very demanding for many, so we have nothing to complain about.
It will be strange not to have fans in the races, but I really want to get back in the car and be as fast as possible. My training in the run up to the race has been better than ever because I have had a lot of free time. I have had a full six weeks of training and now I feel in better shape than I did before Australia. It is also great that we have the first two races of the season on our track and it is sure to be a special moment.
It has been a long time since I drove the RB16, at that time it felt good, but there is always room for improvement, I always want to improve. The team has been working very hard and we will have improvements to our car, but all the teams will also, so it is not clear where each one is at the moment. Weather conditions in Austria can also change rapidly, which will influence the results. I’m just going to focus on what’s happening on the track and making sure we get the best performance from the car.
I don’t really think a triplet of wins in Austria, the most important thing for me is to have a competitive car and perform at my best. I never consider myself the favorite because when you actually look at the track it’s not even our best track but last year it was of course very hot. We were really good at keeping the engine cool. So I don’t expect it to be an easy victory, I think Mercedes will be very strong again. Who knows where Ferrari will be too, so it will be hard to win that race again, but let’s try it.
One thing I know for sure is that we will do our best to fight for the championship. Mercedes is still the best, because they have been the dominant team for a long time. They are still very strong and will be difficult to beat, but as a team we learned a lot over the past year and I really think we are stronger. We have some good races this season, so of course I will try to close that gap and I hope I can get them into trouble, it will be a good challenge trying to beat them.
Surely Honda returned to work very hard during the winter and everything seemed very solid in the tests in Barcelona. Our top speed seemed decent, so I am very happy with the work done. Honda is highly motivated and wants to fight for the title like us. ”
Alex Albon – Car # 10
2019 Austrian GP Results: Classification: 18th – Race: 15th
“I have missed the feeling of speed, being in the car, that process of getting to the track and perfecting myself in a lap, and taking it to the limit, it is very strange to be at home and not have the speed session. Filming day was just a highlight of that and I said “OMG this is so fast!” You think it feels so good to be back in the car.
We are moving from one of the calmest periods of time to one of the busiest we have ever experienced. It is going to be crazy for all of us. The whole environment is going to be really different. There will be no fans, which is what really makes the sport, so it will also add to how strange everything will feel. Running week after week for as long as it takes will be difficult for everyone on the team, and it will be important to start the first few races hard. We didn’t race in Australia, so everyone learned and I think the teams that really get into the rhythm of the races first will be the best and are the ones that will win. It is important to enter the first race with as much energy as possible; it will be about maintaining your energy and keeping it as high as possible for as long as possible.
With so few corners, it is difficult at Red Bull Racing to maximize the car in terms of making a difference, so the classification is very tight, but at the same time it does not really define what happens in the race as we have seen in the last two years with Max. A good car can really save the tires there, temperatures are usually very high too, so I’m sure it won’t be any different. The main thing is to wait and see. I think coming from the winter tests we have a good car and I am sure that even from the day of filming we did, everything feels pretty good, so we’ll see. “