Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen looks forward to the 2021 F1 season despite the fact that he expects a difficult campaign.

Red Bull were comprehensively beaten by Mercedes in 2020, their loss in part attributed to lackluster performance from Verstappen teammate Alexander Albon, but mostly considered the product of poorer machinery and the Honda engine. The RB16, as it was known, was only able to beat the Mercedes offering on pace alone in the final race – weeks after the German manufacturer stated they halted development.

The Milton Keynes team have made a habit of poor season starts, which inevitably lead to failed campaigns as a significant portion of each season is spent in a stage of developmental pursuit. The knock-on effect is often that, in order to reach a point of competitiveness, Red Bull have to continue development late into the year, and do not focus on the next season’s car as early as their rivals. This can contribute to the vicious cycle the team find themselves in.

This year, with limited development permitted in the off-season, Red Bull are hoping their RB16B – named in such a way as it is derivative of 2020’s RB16 – can propel them in a more competitive title challenge, and Verstappen looks forward to this possibility, despite his awareness of Mercedes’ likely upper hand.

Verstappen also believes Mercedes’ early start to development of their 2021 car will be neutralized this year due to restrictions on development. “Nobody knows what’s happening this year, but for sure they will be very strong and hard to beat just because of the limited things you can change on the car,” he said to media including F1, Motorsport Network, and more.

“There is no secret about that, so we just have to keep on working hard and for us last season, we kept developing because we needed to understand the car more as you can’t really change a lot anyway. So basically, I don’t think in 2020, it really mattered if you switch earlier or later. It’s more by just getting to understand the car you’re actually also using this year, and that’s what we have been trying to do. But for sure. I mean, we are looking forward to the year and I think we can be more competitive.

“Also from the Honda side because it’s not only the car where we are lacking. But everyone is very motivated and is pushing for it, and we won’t give up, I think the team spirit is very good. And, yeah, a good winning mentality is there, so I’m just excited for that to see what we can do,” Verstappen said.

Here’s Carlos Sainz talking about time with Max Verstappen and more

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Here’s Honda on 2021 F1 season

Here’s news on Alexander Albon racing in DTM

Here’s Alexander Albon on learning from Max Verstappen

Here’s a run-down on if Max Verstappen is the reason for Red Bull’s junior troubles?