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Verstappen ‘frustrated’ by lack of Red Bull progress

Mat Coch

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Wednesday 2nd October, 2019 - 9:41am

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Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen is growing frustrated with the lack of progress from Red Bull according to his father, Jos.

Now in his third (full) season with Red Bull, the Dutchman sits fourth in the championship having won in Austria and Germany this year, but is 110 points off of title leader Lewis Hamilton

It means that, with five races remaining and a maximum of 130 points available, his title hopes are already all but over.

According to Jos Verstappen, his 22-year-old son is growing impatient as he waits for the team to deliver him a car capable of challenging for a championship.

“The expectation was that we would close the gap this year, but it doesn’t look like that yet,” said Jos on Peptalk, a Dutch television program.

“We have to work hard and the team has to change things to close the gap, otherwise next season will be a lost year as well.

“Everyone is building a new car for the new season, but we’ve now had a year to close the gap with this car and we haven’t come any closer.

“So why should we be able to close that gap next year?”

Verstappen senior has been a driving force in his son’s career, expediting the move from junior formulae into F1 and then again from Toro Rosso to Red Bull.

A former racer himself, including as team-mate to Michael Schumacher at Benetton in 1994, Verstappen is worried the opportunity may slip away for his progeny.

I’m concerned about that and the team really needs to make some changes in order to be able to fight for the championship,” he said.

“When I look at the last few races, we’re half a second short (for Japan). Of course they try to do everything they can to close the gap, but you can’t close a gap of half a second in two weeks’ time.”

He suggests that his views are echoed by Max himself, and that the frustrations are beginning to reveal themselves.

“Max can’t do much about it at the moment, as we depend on the team,” he reasoned.

“We’re a little behind with the car, we’re a little behind with the engine. We need to work harder on those two things if we want to be able to go for the championship next year.

“You could see it in the last two races when he got out of the car and did the interviews. Then you’ll notice the frustration with Max as well.

He does everything he can, but this is not up to Max. That’s what makes it so difficult. Put him in a good car and he will challenge for the championship.

“We’ve been at Red Bull for a couple of years now and it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to compete for the world championship next year.”

Verstappen is set to continue with Red Bull next year, with the only seat thus far unaccounted for in the top three teams that of his team-mate.

A move for 2021 is possible with number of big name contracts up at the end of next season, including Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari.

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