Max Verstappen has the chance to become Formula 1 world champion for the first time this weekend in Saudi Arabia.

But the Dutch do not feel extra pressure the day before the race.

"I know that I'm doing my best, and there's not much more to it than that."

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The Red Bull driver, who defends an eight-point lead over Lewis Hamilton with two races to go, summed up the situation simply on Thursday: "If I have a good car, I know I will win the race. If the car is not good. enough, then it won't be."

The 24-year-old Verstappen has the greatest chance of winning the title if rival Hamilton scores few points or drops out.

The Mercedes Briton has been in shape for the last few races, but the Jeddah Street Circuit seems to be a bigger challenge in advance than the circuits where Formula 1 mainly takes action.

"More can happen on a street circuit than on a normal circuit," said Verstappen.

The Limburger therefore drives with the title in mind.

"Of course I will try to win the race, but the most important thing is that I am still at the top after Abu Dhabi."

On the track in Jeddah, the drivers mainly go into the great unknown.

"We really don't know what it's going to be like here, and how much grip there is in the corners. A lot will depend on that," the World Cup leader explained.

"It looks quite fluid, without large braking zones. But the dynamics of a track can be very different if there is more or less grip. That will make a difference here, especially in the twisty first sector. In Qatar there was eventually also much more grip than I expected."

Max Verstappen can already become world champion in Saudi Arabia next weekend.

Max Verstappen can already become world champion in Saudi Arabia next weekend.

Photo: Dekker

'Were not always fast enough'

After a busy schedule of three races in a row, the teams between Qatar and Saudi Arabia were given a weekend rest.

As a result, there was also more time for the drivers and the technicians for preparation, although, according to Verstappen, no miracles should be expected.

"I think we were pretty good with the setup in recent races, but we just weren't always fast enough," he looked back on the races in Brazil and Qatar.

"Of course there are always things that can be done better. But sometimes during weekends you have the feeling: now we have a really good set-up, and that it won't work out after all."

More time to prepare will not necessarily help.

"In the end it's more about the track itself. Some tracks just suit our car better than others."

New engine yields little for Verstappen

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is mainly described as a 'Mercedes track' due to the long straights, also because Hamilton has the fresh engine that first came into action at Interlagos in the car.

Red Bull and Honda can't really do anything special against that.

"We don't have a peak in power like Mercedes has with a new engine. Our engine is quite constant throughout its life, so we don't make much progress with an engine change," said Verstappen.

"There are no question marks about reliability either. I know what I have in terms of engines and normally we should be able to do it."

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