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"We will try and put on a good show for everyone watching on TV"

30/06/2020

"We will try and put on a good show for everyone watching on TV" posted: 30/06/2020

Max Verstappen joins Albon and Horner in candid interviews before Austrian GP.

Max Verstappen believes that the Formula One drivers will try and put on a good show for everyone watching at home on TV when the 2020 season finally gets underway with the Austrian GP at Aston Martin Red Bull Racings home track this weekend in Spielberg. The Dutchman has won the last two races at the Red Bull Ring and he is looking forward to getting back on the track alongside teammate Alexander Albon with team principal Christian Horner directing tactics from the pit wall.

MAX VERSTAPPEN Here is an exclusive Q&A with the three F1 stars ahead of Sundays opening race:

The last time you were in the RB16 was in February at winter testing in Barcelona. Is this the longest you haven't raced for since you were karting?

It has been really weird that I havent been able to drive in such a long time and its the longest its been since I started karting. Luckily, I have a simulator at home and as youve probably seen, I have been using that a lot during the shutdown period. Im glad we can get back to racing now but this time has been very challenging for so many people, so we have nothing to complain about at all.

How much will you miss the orange army , especially in Austria?

How much will you miss the orange army , especially in Austria?

Of course, it is going to be very different without the orange army and its going to feel a little strange. There are usually so many great Dutch fans in Austria. I have lots of good memories from that track, I remember looking up at the fans at the end of the race last year and they were all standing up and cheering, it was crazy. It gave me an even bigger smile after the win. Its a shame we dont have that this year but we will try and put on a good show for everyone watching at home on TV.

What would a hattrick at the Red Bull Ring mean to you and do you consider yourself as a favourite?

I would prefer to win a Championship! I dont really think about a hattrick, the most important thing for me is to have a competitive car and perform at my best. I never consider myself the favourite because actually when you look at the track its not even our best track, but last year, of course, it was very warm. We were really good with keeping the engine cooling down. So I dont expect it to be an easy win, I think Mercedes again will be very strong. Who knows where Ferrari will be as well, so no, it will be a very hard and tough battle again to win that race, but were going to try.

There are a lot of races in a short time frame this season. Do you like that and is the intensity of that pressure good for you?

You are away a lot of course and you cant go home in between races, which is going to be difficult especially for the team members with families. I dont really think about it as pressure though as it is what we love and what we are here for.

ALEXANDER ALBON What have you missed most about racing?

Ive missed just the feeling of the speed, being in the car, kind of that process of arriving to the track and perfecting on a lap, and pushing it to the limits. It feels very strange to be at home and not having that sense of speed. Doing the filming day was just a highlight of that where I was a bit like, My God, this thing is so fast! You kind of think it feels so good to be back in it.

How do you feel and are you ready to hit the ground running in Austria?

I feel good. Theres so much time that, with any driver, theres going to be that level of uncertainty as to whats going to happen. Im glad I did the filming day to get that initial dust off my shoulders but Im excited, I think weve all been waiting for this. Theres been a long drought, we all do this because we love it and weve missed it, so I cant wait to get started.

How will having back-to-back races at the same circuit affect the way you approach the weekend?

The dynamic is more or less very similar on that first race weekend, so the first race weekend you would treat like another one, procedural things like FP1, FP2, FP3 would always be the same. Where it changes most probably is that second weekend where youve got a perfect opportunity to directly compare to your first weekend, try some things which are very risky to try during a normal race weekend because its a new track and everything has changed. Now youve got the same circuit, pretty much the same weather and you can try things so Im sure every team is going to treat the second weekend with a bit more risk and try some things out because you know if it doesnt work out you can go back to your first weekend car

In this condensed 2020 season, will driver fitness play a bigger part in performance this year?

I think theres definitely an element to it. The first two races not too much, Austria is quite an easy circuit with few corners and quite a lot of breathing time in between with the long straights. Once we get to Hungary, that will quickly change and normally we will arrive to Hungary with how ever many rounds weve done and so by the time were there, its all easy flowing. It will be three weeks (in a row) so we wont have much rest. It does play a part, Hungary, Singapore last year for instance, there is performance in your fitness so yeah it will do - if its a tiebreaker well see.

CHRISTIAN HORNER Talk us through how the team have kept morale high during the extended shutdown?

Well its highly unusual for a Grand Prix team to go into hibernation for what was essentially two-and-a-half months so obviously during that period you want to retain that sense of team. So activities, whether it be online fitness classes, Friday night quizzes, town hall meetings where the staff would have the ability to ask me questions, passing on information and updates, keeping the drivers engaged wi
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