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"We have to find a bit more performance," admits Verstappen

NEWS STORY
21/10/2021

Ahead of this weekend's United States Grand Prix, Max Verstappen still feels Red Bull is lagging behind Mercedes in terms of power.

Since introducing its update at Silverstone Mercedes has clearly taken a step forward, and though Max Verstappen has twice taken pole, Mercedes have scored four.

In Turkey, in particular, it was noted that the Mercedes was quicker, though speaking to reporters in Austin today, Verstappen sought to play things down.

"We know we still have a bit of work to do," he admitted.

"I'm not concerned, because there's nothing you can do about it," he quickly added. "But we just have to focus on our side.

"I think there's a few things we can do better," he continued, "and we learned again a lot in Turkey and we'll try to do better with our package, what we have, try to find a bit more performance.

"We have to focus on ourselves."

Asked if the double-podium result in Turkey signified a purple patch for the team, he laughed: "Not really," he said.

"It was all right but we know that we still have a bit of work to do, and we want to be faster, but the team result was good in Turkey; overall performance wasn't amazing in Turkey.

"But we'll try again here and see how quick we are," he added. "Different track, different tarmac, so…

"I did spend a bit of time on the simulator as well, everything felt all right, but yes, we'll find out tomorrow," he said.

Though he has never won here, he has scored two podium finishes, not least in 2018 when he qualified 15th.

"It's been a really good track," he said, "it's a really enjoyable track to drive; in qualifying I would say the first sector is really cool but then in the race the end of sector 2, the beginning of sector 3, there's a lot of action and different lines you can take, and you definitely can overtake here – and I think that's what makes it special."

Meanwhile, the youngster has revealed why he is not taking part in the next series of Netflix' Drive to Survive, which many cite as the reason for the sport's increasing popularity with younger fans.

"They faked a few rivalries which they don't really exist," he told the Associated Press. "So I decided to not be a part of it and did not give any more interviews after that because then there is nothing you can show.

"I am not really a dramatic show kind of person," he added, "I just want facts and real things to happen."

The youngster had previously criticised the way he was portrayed in the opening series.

"I understand that it needs to be done to boost the popularity in America," he said. "But from my side as a driver, I don't like being part of it."

Check out our Thursday gallery from COTA, here.

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