Verstappen doesn’t expect Red Bull domination to resume in Spain

Max Verstappen believes Red Bull will not have the performance advantage it enjoyed earlier this season at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, despite a return to a permanent circuit.

Red Bull has come under pressure on street tracks and venues that require cars to be able to ride curbs in certain sections, with Lando Norris winning in Miami and getting within a second of victory before Charles Leclerc won in Monaco and Verstappen came out on top in a four-way battle in Canada. The expectation has been that the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s layout will suit Red Bull again, but the championship leader is predicting the field will still be closer than the opening rounds.

“No, I don’t think it will be like the beginning of the season,” Verstappen said. “But we know that normally this is a track our car should suit a bit more, and we’re excited, of course. I’m aware that everyone has been catching up a lot, everyone is quite confident, but if you compare this to the last few races that we have done, this should be a better track.”


With the external expectation on Red Bull, Verstappen says the team still needs to execute effectively but should also not be overly worried if it doesn’t have a perfect weekend and comes under pressure again from the chasing pack.

“It’s difficult to say. People are constantly improving, and sometimes you just have a better weekend than others with the way you set up the car,” he said. “Because at the end of the day, you can bring upgrades but if you don’t put the right setup on the car… I mean, look at F2 right? The same [spec] car, but there’s still a big difference in teams and operations. So also there, you can make mistakes.

“That’s what we need to get right. Normally, naturally this car should suit the track a bit better. But still we need to make sure it’s in the right balance window.”

Verstappen denied that the improvements by competitors have increased pressure on the world champions.

“It’s not tension. We always want to do well, and we also know that other people are pushing flat out,” he said. “We just need to make sure we have a good weekend like we always want to have. Let’s say it doesn’t go to plan, let’s not go overboard, right? We just keep working and keep trying to be better. There’s still so many races where you could score a good amount of points. But of course, here we really want to do well.”

Story originally appeared on Racer