Max Verstappen’s Red Bull frustration as doubts raised over Ferrari and Mercedes F1 moves

Max Verstappen will be “very frustrated” at Red Bull’s failure to deliver so far this season. That is the opinion of former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, who says Ferrari and Mercedes might not be viable options for the Dutchman even if his Red Bull woes continue.

Verstappen came into the 2020 F1 season with expectations of pushing reigning champion Lewis Hamilton all the way in the title race.

The 22-year-old, though, sits third in the drivers’ standings, looking up at the Mercedes driver, following a tough start to the campaign.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas rests between the Brit and Verstappen, who has a DNF, a third place and a second place on his record for 2020.

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Three-time Grand Prix winner Herbert has plenty of sympathy for Verstappen, given how strong Red Bull had looked in testing back in February.

“He’ll be a very frustrated, angry Dutchman,” Herbert told Express Sport. “As we all know, his expectations are very high… the pressure that he puts on the team to try and deliver what he needs to be able to win races and, especially, get that first World Championship.

“[The RB16] looked a lot better in Barcelona because we all criticise whether they’re going to start out of the blocks quick enough. It looked like they were in a better position – they were behind Mercedes but ahead of Ferrari and Racing Point. Now they’re sort of struggling. They’re fighting Racing Point at the moment.

“At the first race in Austria, we didn’t really see Max because he didn’t last long enough. He was second at the point when he dropped out, so he was in a good position.

“Was he as quick as Lewis? No he wasn’t. But he wasn’t massively off in the race – qualifying is a different story.

“We haven’t then quite seen it in Hungary as the car just looked like a complete animal to drive. One minute: ‘I’m going straight now… oh, hello, I’ve turned right’. So the back end and the front end are worlds apart, they’re not talking to each other.

“To drive that car is very hard. Yes, he gets the very best out of it, like we saw there is a difference still with [Red Bull team-mate Alex] Albon.

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Red Bull will be eager to put things right and secure their first win of 2020 at Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

Herbert says the onus is on Christian Horner’s team to deliver for Verstappen, who was fastest in Free Practice 1 on Friday.

“So there’s a frustrated Max in there,” Herbert said. “But what can he do? He can’t do anything about it. He can only do the best he can at the moment. They’ve got to be able to sort out the problem they’ve already got with this front and rear end separation.

“And hopefully he gets a little bit of luck, you never know with the weather at Silverstone. We know that if it’s wet, that’s where you’re going to see the best of Lewis. We’re going to see the best of Max at the same time. So maybe that’s the type of weather that Max needs for one of the Silverstone races. I hope they’re both dry but it always does stir up a nice mix up in the race.

“You’ve got a frustrated Max at the moment, but that won’t stop him.”

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