|Max Verstappen is better than Lewis Hamilton, but in a sport where the car is 99% and the driver 1% he accepts he has zero chance to beat him|
(GMM) Max Verstappen says he has "accepted" that he will not become Formula 1's youngest ever champion.
At 22, the Dutchman needed to secure the title this year in order to beat Sebastian Vettel's old record.
Verstappen says his Red Bull is not up to the job.
"I have already accepted that a world title isn't in it this year," he is quoted by Belgium's Sporza.
"It's very simple: Lewis Hamilton is in the best car, and he beats his teammate. And I think the gap between Bottas and me will only grow."
Verstappen has denied that he is overly frustrated by the situation.
"My start to the season has been fine, but we're not in the championship," he said. "What Mercedes is doing is great and you have to respect that."
And so he says his target for 2020 is to "get the best out of every race weekend".
"Of course I want to win, so we will have to be ready to strike if things go wrong for Hamilton and Bottas," said Verstappen.
"If coming second or third is the maximum that can be achieved, I have to be satisfied with that."
Verstappen's attitude and personality appears to have been shaped by two men – his father Jos, and Dr Helmut Marko, who signed him to Red Bull's junior program.
"It's often said that Helmut is very hard on drivers," he told De Telegraaf. "But above all, I find him to be very realistic.
"If you drive badly, that's it, and if you do well then you do well. He is straightforward and always asks very direct questions," added Verstappen.
"My father always says 'You just have to be honest, even if you did badly' – that you shouldn't deny it because people never like that.
"I always try to be myself," he said, "and I have good people around me who can help or advise if necessary."