New championship leader Max Verstappen has urged Red Bull to keep its focus on the crucial and close 2021 title battle with Mercedes.
While Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said recently that the reigning world champions are now essentially focusing on the all-new car for 2022, Verstappen says Red Bull needs to hold the line.
“We have to live in the present,” he told Sky Italia.
“I know I have to be fast this season, and we will have to work hard all the way through for that.
“I realise that many teams are already working towards 2022, but we already have a good opportunity this year that we have to give everything for.”
Interestingly, Verstappen recently started a relationship with Kelly Piquet, the daughter of triple world champion Nelson.
When asked if he gets tips from the great Brazilian about winning world titles, Verstappen smiled: “I spoke to him briefly after the win in Monaco.
“But it’s not about tips – I have to find my own way. I also speak to my father every day. I’ve done everything with him and without him I wouldn’t be here.
“We spent many years in the motorhome together.”
If Verstappen pulls off his historic first world championship in 2021, though, he will still be a whopping six titles behind the F1 legend.
Is the Dutchman envious?
“No, and I am not envious of anyone or anything,” Verstappen insisted. “I’m very happy with who I am.
“I’m lucky to be in F1 and live the life I live. I’m happy if someone else has a good life and is good at what they do too. I just live my life.”