Max Verstappen joined Red Bull Racing and scored a sensational win on his debut for them at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016; he became the youngest winner of a Formula One race with that victory.
However, his hopes of becoming the youngest ever World Champion are over as Red Bull have consistently fallen short of challenging for the title since the V6 era began in 2014.
The 23-year-old is playing a wait and see and game as he looks ahead to 2021. Verstappen also admits that ‘’you cannot force things’’ as he looks for that elusive first crown.
“Of course I would like to fight for the championship [in 2021], but we'll have to find out,” said Verstappen, in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“I mean, I'm still very young. And of course, you know, people say time is ticking. But I'm very relaxed. And it's life. Also, you know, sometimes you cannot force things. So I stay calm.”
The 10-time Grand Prix winner believes Red Bull can make a ‘’big step’’ into 2021 and hopes it will be a bigger one compared to other teams. Gains from Honda and improvements on the tricky to drive RB16 will play a massive factor in how the year goes.
“I do think we can make a big step,” he said. “But I also expect others to have a step. So I just hope that ours is a bit bigger than the others.”
Max’s father and former F1 driver, Jos, has very much got his sites on 2021. He believes winning the opening race of 2021 will be far more important than his son’s victory at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month.
“It is nice to win the final race of the season, but it is even better to win the first one next year,” he said.
“It is nice to win the final race of course for the feeling of people in the factory. This gives an extra boost to everyone.
“But as I said before, I think it is even more important that we are able to win the first race next year. That would indicate that we have a car to compete with. And that is what we have missed a bit.”
Verstappen Sr. was also quizzed about Red Bull’s chances of closing the gap to the all-conquering Mercedes team: “I think the changes in the regulations that are there for 2021 are still quite significant. The rest of the car has to be adapted to the changes being made to the floor. It's mainly about aerodynamics so they have to get that right.
“And we hope that Honda will bring something extra as well. In that case we will look a little stronger than we did.”