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Max Verstappen

Verstappen: Dreaming of Red Bull rivals a 'waste of energy'

Max Verstappen feels it is not worth worrying about the progress of other teams, instead focusing on what Red Bull can do to "stay on top" of the F1 fight.

Verstappen Spain
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen insists his focus is set squarely on what he and Red Bull can do to improve the RB20, not on what rival teams have been able to achieve in the F1 development race.

After close to two years of near unblemished dominance, the Dutchman and the Milton Keynes outfit have had a tougher time of it lately.

The team won 21 of 22 grand prix last year - with 19 of those coming from Verstappen - but has only won seven of the 10 rounds so far this term. However, that only tells part of the story.

Since the sixth weekend of the season, the Miami Grand Prix, Red Bull's rivals have gained considerable ground. Lando Norris took victory in Florida, and Ferrari won two rounds later, in Monaco, courtesy of a Charles Leclerc home-turf triumph.

In the other three grand prix, the McLaren driver has pushed Verstappen close. Whilst somewhat unaccustomed to hard-fought wins, the 26-year-old and Red Bull have prevailed, despite recently emerged issues with the RB20, and no longer being guaranteed of having the fastest car on any given weekend.

To Verstappen, though, it remains a case of keeping attention fixed on what he and his team can do, not on what others have done - or might do in the future.

"You can dream about potential improvements from other teams, but that's just a waste of energy," the 61-time grand prix winner told media including RacingNews365.

"So I'm just very busy on trying to optimise my package and try to make it better, discussing a lot of things with the engineers and try to find solutions to stay on top."

Verstappen's focus on what he can can control

Following McLaren's substantial update package in Miami, and Ferrari's a round later in Imola, Mercedes has also closed up, turning a recently-formed front trio into a leading quartet.

It was the lattermost team's resurgence which prompted Verstappen to be asked how much of a challenge he feels Lewis Hamilton and the Brackley squad might pose over the rest of the season, with the Dutchman's comments a response to that.

Whilst he did not get drawn in on one specific team, Verstappen was quick to point out that he cannot see what the opposition is doing, instead keeping his focus on what he can influence.

Red Bull has not brought extensive upgrades - at least to the degree of the other three top teams - so far this season, and it is difficult to forecast what impact developments to the RB20 might have when they do arrive, given the rate of diminishing returns. 

"It all depends on what the teams are going to bring to their car," Verstappen said when asked the initial question.

"I mean, I cannot look into what they're doing at the moment. The only thing that I can control is within our team what we are going to bring. And that's what I'm focused on."

Also interesting:

Verstappen's brilliant win, as Norris is continuing to develop as a driver. Perez's struggles and Lewis Hamilton's return to the podium are also discussed!

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