Max Verstappen welcomes Mercedes’ return to form for facilitating second F1 world championship

Red Bull driver and reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen is glad that Mercedes has reportedly got its problems sorted and is happy that they will now be able “to steal more points off Ferrari”.

Verstappen currently enjoys a massive lead at the top of the drivers’ standings to the tune of 80 points.

So far this year, Ferrari has proved to be Red Bull’s main competitor, but that is expected to change when the teams line up at the Belgian Grand Prix after the summer break.

Verstappen enjoyed back-to-back wins just before the summer break to extend his lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, but still believes there is enough time for things to change.

He therefore needs to ensure that he is on his game in the final 9 races of the championship.

Mercedes has already showed glimpses of returning to form through podium finishes for both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Verstappen’s wins in France and Hungary.

Verstappen has seen this as positive news as he looks to build a bigger gap at the top of the standings.

“It’s good that they are competitive because then they can steal more points off Ferrari!” Verstappen said.

“So I’m very happy. They’re doing very well.”

Verstappen not taking lead for granted

Max Verstappen. Credit: formula1.com

Verstappen admits that he cannot take anything for granted this season, as Red Bull has seen some reliability issues.

“Of course, it’s a great lead,” he said.

“But we cannot have too many days like we had in qualifying.

“And even in the race, we had a few little issues with the clutch and the upshifts, which was not great to drive. Overall, of course, it’s good, but we just keep on working, keep on trying to improve things.”

This is a view that was shared by his boss Christian Horner.

“It is a very healthy lead but there is an awful lot of racing to go,” Horner said.

“Things can go wrong, we had some reliability issues in the [Hungary] race with the clutch and that could have quite easily been a DNF but thankfully it wasn’t.

“So, there are some areas that we can still improve on and there is an awful lot of racing still to do.”

Read more: Toto Wolff predicts flared “tensions” between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ahead of return from summer break

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