At today’s press conference principals of five teams talked about events at last weekend in Germany and discussed one of actual topics.
The Red Bull principal Christian Horner was asked about Max Verstappen improving this season and especially after winning two of last three races.
"I think Max, not just in the last three races but during the course of the whole of this seasons, indeed pretty much Montreal last year, he’s been driving incredibly well at a very high standard," – Christian said.
"It’s certainly started to come together over the last few races. The win in Austria was a watershed moment, we were competitive at Silverstone, and obviously the race, the excitement of last weekend was a phenomenal performance by him, to keep his head, to have the pace in all varying conditions, and come out on top and win the grand prix. He’s certainly delivering at an extremely high level."
The Max’ progress this year is obvious. However, with the successes of its driver the team has some problems. It’s about a difficulty of Max’ teammates to match his level. Last year Daniel Ricciardo couldn’t stand the competition with him, this year Gasly loses so much to Verstappen. According to the Red Bull boss, the level of Max’ performance is a benchmark for other drivers and of course for the teammate.
"If you go up against Verstappen at the moment, for me arguably he is the most in-form driver on the grid. That’s an enormous barometer for any driver to go up and be measured against. As a competitor you always want to measure yourself against the best that you can. So, he’s a benchmark that obviously Pierre is measuring himself against."
About few months there are rumors about Verstappen move to Mercedes next season. Horner said that he doesn’t know if Toto Wolff got a contact with the driver or not, but for Red Bull the situation with Max is clear.
"Toto has certainly not spoken to me about it. He speaks to almost every driver on the grid, so I would think if he has had a conversation it’s been direct not through the team. The situation with Max is clear and as with other drivers there are always trigger points," – Horner said.
One of the actual topics of this weekend is expanding F1 calendar to 22 races. With increasing the number of stages there is a need to increase number of the power units and components. The teams in general support the option of 22 races, but have some concerns about extra costs.
"In principle we support the direction of going for 22 races next year. There’s a discussion ongoing at the moment about what that means actually in terms of the number of components to be used and also the costs for a team like us, so that’s still ongoing," – Andreas Seidl explained.
"The commercial rights holder has come to us to say, you know, that 22 races is a possibility for next year and would we support it. I think in principle, yes, is the answer, but it has to be combined with what other activities are going on in terms of: do we need to do as much in-season testing as we currently do; do we need to do as much pre-season testing?" – Christian Horner said.
"And I think if we are to introduce a 22nd race the majority of teams are taking penalties and using four engines anyway, so one would assume that it would make sense to increase the allocation on power units and components," – he added.
"We are supportive on a 22nd race if that means some more revenues but we need to certainly be careful on the costs, the extra costs," – Mattia Binotto supported previous opinions.
"If you look as well at 2021 at the moment we are discussing for 24 races but no extra engines, no extra units, so I think it’s only a path to 2021, so increasing the number of units for next year would be simply wrong, because it would mean, yes, more revenues, but then more costs, which would make no sense overall and so it should be on the power unit manufacturer to try to do an effort which is in the direction of 2021 to afford an extra race with the components we’ve got."
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