F1 News: Max Verstappen Loses Confidence As Championship Win Slips Through Fingers
Max Verstappen was forced to retire from the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday making it the second time this season this has happened for the Red Bull driver.
After Verstappen took the victory in the Drivers’ Championship in 2021, everyone thought that the biggest battle we would be watching would be between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the top of the leaderboard. However, with an incredible season so far from Ferrari and with Mercedes experiencing their own car issues, Verstappen is now 46 points less than current leader Charles Leclerc.
With a start like this, the hopes of defending his title are becoming slimmer and slimmer. Verstappen has acknowledged that there are still 20 races remaining to bring it back but he feels Red Bull need to find more pace to get ahead of Ferrari:
“Being already so far down in the championship, I think it’s 46 points, from now on we need to be ahead.
“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.”
When quizzed about whether he had a chance of winning the Drivers’ Championship this year, he replied:
“I don’t even think about it. At the moment, there is no reason to believe in it.”
Currently, Leclerc is leading with points followed by Mercedes’ George Russell and then Verstappen in third with 25 points.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained:
“We’re only just over 10% of the way into the championship. So I think there’s still a huge amount to go. The encouraging thing is we’ve got the basis of a quick car.”
Horner went on to say that he has confidence in Verstappen to bounce back from the disappointment they have had so far.
“He’s obviously frustrated when he initially got out of the car, 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.”