Red Bull have failed to match predictions, as many expected that Milton Keynes F1 squad to be the closest challenger to Mercedes amid the introduction of new regulations. But they started 2017 on the back foot, with team boss Christian Horner admits that it was left two-and-a-half months behind the development curve amid correlation issues.
“I’ve always said that there’s no reason to leave when I have a competitive car,” said Verstappen.
“At the moment we are not there where I want to be, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up straight away. You have to work hard.
“But after two, three years without improving, that would be a different story. We are working hard to improve but after next year we will see what happens in the future.”
Red Bull around three-tenths down
“For us, on tracks with not too many straights I think we are reasonably close, so I think around three-tenths down, more or less,” says Verstappen. “But then of course when you get a few straights in the track I think we’re a bit further away.
“I don’t know what to expect for the upcoming races but of course it will be quite tough for us to really compete against them. I expect in Spa Mercedes will be again very strong because in general their power unit is still the best in the whole field, but it’s very close.
“We’ll keep developing, but the other teams do [as well]; we have to make sure that we do it a little faster and of course better,” he added.
“I think from the engine side there is not much coming compared to the other teams where there is still development on both sides. So we have to make sure our car is definitely going in the right direction.”
Currently Red Bull trail Mercedes by 173 points and Ferrari by 134 points in the Constructors’ Championship, but Horner believes the team can potentially be the second most reliable car in the second half of 2017, following showed the pace deficit progressively reduce.