Max Verstappen can't wait to get back into his car this weekend. The first race of the year will finally be held in Austria four months after the planned start of the season.
"I did not miss Formula 1 at all," said Verstappen jokingly at his team's digital press conference on Thursday. All drivers were required to wear a mask there. "You can't tell if I'm laughing now, are you?"
"Of course I missed Formula 1. I raced a lot on my simulator at home, but that also got boring at some point. I have been able to race on a track again for the past few days, but that is not Formula 1 of course."
Verstappen is seen by many as the main challenger of six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The Limburger received good news this week from engine supplier Honda, which was able to carry out an engine update because the corona measures were relaxed in Japan earlier than in Europe.
"We are in a good position, especially that engine upgrade is a good start," said Verstappen. "But we will really have to show it on the track. That's better than talking about it here."
See also: Finally Formula 1: Red Bull is the challenger of Mercedes
Verstappen is not going to drive more carefully with fewer races
Due to the corona crisis, the Formula 1 season has been considerably shortened. There were initially supposed to be 22 races, but currently only 8 are on the calendar. Formula 1 hopes to get fifteen to eighteen races in total.
Verstappen does not intend to take fewer risks now that fewer races are being run. "Whether there are 22, 12 or 8 races, you never want a breakdown. I always go for the best result without taking too many risks."
"Of course, a dropout could cost you more this year than in other years, but that doesn't matter to my approach. I'm just trying to win every race."
GP Austria times
- First training: Friday 11 am
- Second training: Friday 3 pm
- Third training: Saturday noon
- Qualification: Saturday 3 pm
- Race: Sunday 3.10 p.m.
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