Thursday, 12 july 2018, 05:25 , by Matthew Scott
Max Verstappen says Red Bull's power deficit to Mercedes and Ferrari has become "really a problem" and suggested he and Daniel Ricciardo would be untouchable if they were on equal power to their rivals. Neither Verstappen or Ricciardo were able to hold a candle to Mercedes and Ferrari at the British Grand Prix, the Dutchman failing to finish at Silverstone.
Although Ricciardo has two grand prix wins to his name in 2018 and Verstappen was recently victorious in Austria, they sit 65 and 78 points adrift of championship leader Sebastian Vettel respectively.
The Red Bulls have not had two drivers on the podium at a race all year - Verstappen did not score a top-three finish in the first four races of 2018, while Ricciardo has not in the four races since his win in Monaco.
With Red Bull preparing to take Honda power units for the 2019 season, Verstappen suggested Renault's lack of development has begun to bite them.
"I think we have the strongest chassis of anyone," said Verstappen. "If we had the Mercedes or Ferrari engine, they would never see us again.
"But now we have too little speed on the straight. It's really a problem.
"Since Ferrari and Mercedes did their engine upgrade, the deficit has really increased."
The German Grand Prix looms next on the calendar and Verstappen expects another tough test at a Hockenheim circuit that is taken at full throttle for almost 60 per cent of the lap.
"It's eight corners and many straights in between them," Verstappen said of the track.
"But you never know, we could achieve good results thanks to incidents and safety cars. But it won't be easy.
"I think after that we can really compete in Hungary, Singapore and Mexico. I think on average we lose six, seven tenths because of the engine, but there are perhaps four tenths we can compensate for elsewhere.
"So yes, I see opportunities there."