Verstappen plays down 2020 title chances

(GMM) Max Verstappen does not agree with his boss that he is still a major contender for the 2020 title.

Having won at Silverstone, and with the ‘party mode’ engine setting ban now looming, Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko said in Barcelona: “We haven’t given up our big goal yet.

“We still want to make Max Verstappen the youngest world champion of all time.”

However, that was before Sunday’s Spanish GP – in which Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory.

Dutchman Verstappen managed to beat the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to second place, but he is nonetheless not yet confident of a championship bid.

“We’ll see the same at Spa,” Verstappen, when asked about Hamilton’s dominance in Spain, predicts.

“If you are as dominant as Mercedes, it will not suddenly change in a week,” he told Ziggo Sport. “And if I won last week, you cannot automatically say that I am in the fight for the world championship.

“I do not expect to win at Spa but hopefully we can at least grab some more nice points.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff doesn’t agree with that, telling Kronen Zeitung: “We feel the danger of Max Verstappen.

“When you consider that he has had a failure, 37 points is not very much.”

Valtteri Bottas

Even further behind now – 43 points – is Finn Bottas, who agrees with Verstappen that Hamilton seems to be on a cruise to his seventh title.

“I have no clue actually what the points difference is but it’s way too big. I can again see the championship drifting away,” the downbeat Mercedes driver said.