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Second doesn't matter, says Verstappen

NEWS STORY
26/11/2020

Over the last four seasons, Max Verstappen has finished 5th, 6th, 4th and 3rd in the driver standings, and though it remains mathematically possible to overhaul Valtteri Bottas for the runner-up position, the Dutchman insists that it is of no consequence, as only winning the title matters.

"It doesn't really matter, a second or third," the Red Bull driver told reporters in Bahrain. "I just want to have a good result. If it means that at the end you are third in the championship, but you had a few positive races to finish the season, I'm happy with that."

Though Red Bull is set to finish runner-up to Mercedes, Verstappen admits that he knew early on that would not be in a position to battle Lewis Hamilton for the drivers' title.

"At the first race I think was quite clear that we were too far off," he admitted. "And why? I mean, that I don't know, because otherwise we would have changed already, if we knew why.

"I think everyone is working very hard, there is no question about that. But a lot of teams are working very hard, of course. And we still have some catching up to do, but it's difficult to pinpoint why."

The Austrian team introduced a number of updates in Turkey, but in the ever changing conditions it was impossible to really evaluate them, and though he beleives they were an improvement, Verstappen believes their real worth will hopefully become apparent this weekend.

"It's always difficult to say, because of the conditions, but I tested a few new parts, and they were definitely positive," he said. "So I'm just looking forward to come here to Bahrain, where of course we have a bit more information already with these cars and the last few years, so I just want to see how it works here. But I'm confident that it can be good.

Referring to the race in Istanbul, which saw him finish sixth, almost 45s down on the race-winner, Lewis Hamilton, he said: "Not so lovely... it can happen sometimes.

"First of all, it was a bit of a shame," he continued. "I was really looking forward to being in Turkey. But the track surface was, of course, a disaster, in terms of grip. So that was not nice.

"But from the race itself, what can we learn? Well, there are always things to learn in every single Grand Prix, but it was just one of those days where everything just seemed to go wrong. I had that spin, flat-spotted my tyres... from there onwards, there was also only one line you could drive, so you couldn't really fight, you couldn't really pass. And then the track wasn't really drying enough to go on slicks. So honestly, just an annoying day, and not the result we wanted, of course. But sometimes it's like that.

"I think up until then, we had a lot of good results. And it was always happy times. So sometimes, you will have a weekend again, where nothing really works perfect. Friday, and of course, the beginning of Saturday, were good.

"Sometimes you have those results on a Sunday, where it just doesn't work out for you, for a lot of reasons."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Bahrain, here.

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