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Verstappen insists F1 title fight isn't over: We're only halfway there

Max Verstappen is adamant that the F1 Drivers' Championship battle is still on despite taking a commanding lead in the standings.

Max Verstappen has refuted any suggestion of him being the favourite for the F1 Drivers' Championship, insisting a lot can still happen this season. Following his victory at the French Grand Prix, the Red Bull driver now leads the standings by 63 points over Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. His points tally was aided by Leclerc crashing out of the event and effectively handing the win to Verstappen. The result means that the Dutchman is guaranteed to go into the summer break – which follows the next race in Hungary – as the championship leader.

Verstappen and Red Bull "still have a lot of work to do"

However, the reigning World Champion insists that he is not looking at the points totals at this early stage. "We're only halfway, there are still a lot of races to go. A lot of things can happen, so I don't really look at that lead," Verstappen told Sky Sports F1 . Verstappen was then asked if he can take satisfaction from going into the summer break with a guaranteed championship lead. "No, because we still have a lot of work to do, we are still behind over one lap," added Verstappen. "I don't expect Hungary to particularly be our best track, because I do think we are lacking a bit of downforce compared to Ferrari, and that's what you need to run there."

Verstappen plays down previous championship experience

Leclerc's mistake during the French GP was his second high-profile error of the season, having also lost points with a spin at the Emilia Romagna GP earlier in the year. Verstappen was asked if his experience of a championship battle is giving him an edge over Leclerc. "It's difficult to tell [as] these mistakes are easily made. I feel sorry for him; it's not nice and he knows that," added Verstappen. "I think it would have been a really good battle to the end. Unfortunately, we never got to that but, luckily, Charles is okay. "We have still a lot of races to go and there'll be a few tough weekends for us as well."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying