The 2020 F1 season did not spring any major surprises when Mercedes beat Red Bull to the Constructors’ title. Such was the power and efficiency of the German manufacturer team’s engine that they built a commanding gap to their nearest challengers.
However, that did not chip away at Max Verstappen’s fighting spirit as he continued to pressure the Mercedes cars out in front. His efforts did not go in vain as he sealed two race wins at Silverstone and then in the season finale at Abu Dhabi.
Max’s father, Jos Verstappen, believes that his son gives his 110% in the races. Surprisingly, he also thinks that the Red Bull’s 2020 RB16 quite possibly might have been ‘worse’ than Ferrari’s heavily underperforming SF1000.
Speaking in an interview, Jos Verstappen stated, “He was three years ago. You know, Max always drives at 110 percent.” (translated via Google Translate)
“As a result, we don’t really know how good or bad the car is; maybe our car was worse than Ferrari’s… It’s just possible, no one knows.”
In the majority of the 17-race season, Red Bull found themselves roughly four-tenths of a second off the pace, on average, from Mercedes in qualifying. Through the course of the races, the time gap only widened and as a result, it was sometimes tough for Verstappen to challenge both Mercedes drivers.
“The only thing you can do is compare Max to his teammate. And Albon really wasn’t that bad in karting and the lower classes, he did well there. This year he had quite a problem compared to Max,” concluded Jos Verstappen.
Last campaign’s race at Abu Dhabi showed just what was possible when Red Bull had both cars in the top-four places. Mercedes could not execute their natural undercutting strategy and it saw Verstappen cruise to an easy victory in the season finale race.
It indicated a sign of the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s intention and progression for the 2021 season. For all we know then, Red Bull just might catch Mercedes off-guard in a bid to reclaim the Constructors’ title they last won in 2013.