“The most important thing is that we are first after the race in Abu Dhabi,” the Dutchman said yesterday, referring to the last race of the year. At the Grand Prix in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, the 23-year-old will be the overall captain for the first time in his career on Sunday (2pm / ORF 1, Sky).
Verstappen knocked permanent world champion Lewis Hamilton off the top by winning the last Grand Prix in Monaco. Before the sixth round of the season, the youngster is only four points ahead. “I expect them to come back strong,” Verstappen said. “We have to keep improving ourselves and the car,” said the Red Bull driver. “Then we have a good chance of being first.”
On the street circuit in Baku, Max Verstappen has not yet reached the podium, and he would like to change that this weekend. “It’s never easy here,” Verstappen said. “We’ve had a lot of exciting races here.” Meanwhile, he does not want to be distracted by the mockery between the two strongest teams. “Louis and I respect each other and that’s the most important thing,” he said.
Only yesterday evening, Hamilton’s team-mate at Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas, arrived in Baku. Difficulties flying in Finland delayed the arrival of the vice world champion.