He may look like a number one driver and perform like a number one driver, but Max Verstappen says he isn’t Red Bull’s “first driver”, insisting team mate Pierre Gasly is on equal footing.
Gasly, who stepped up this year to Red Bull’s senior squad, has struggled so far to perform on the same level as Verstappen.
Thanks to a podium finish in Melbourne and a string of fourth-place finishes, the Dutchman has outscored Gasly by 38 points, an advantage that clearly defines the pecking order at Red Bull Racing.
Horner ‘totally confident’ Verstappen will remain with Red Bull
Yet Verstappen denies a running order or a priority has been set within his team.
“I don’t see myself as a first driver and nobody in the team mentioned that,” the 21-year-old told F1Technical.net.
“We both get equal opportunities and I am just doing what I was doing also last year, giving the right feedback back to the team and then it is up to the team to bring new parts.
“So from my side, not a lot has changed, of course you gain experience. I would be wrong to change something. It would mean that you were not doing the right things the year before.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner recently labeled as “remarkable” Verstappen’s start to his 2019 season, especially in contrast to the error-strewn debut he endured a year ago.
Verstappen has since reined in his impetuosity and focused on consistency, with beneficial results for himself and his team.
“You always improve as a driver, even Lewis is still improving, so it depends on how hungry you are to keep improving,” he added.
“Of course, from the first year to your second year, you learn a lot about how to drive a Formula 1 car.
“When you go into your fifth season, I think it is definitely more about general experiences with the car. Doing more races makes you improve.”
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