Max Verstappen hopes that he can use Red Bull Racing‘s home advantage to good effect in Sunday’s Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix.
Verstappen, who will also enjoy a large Dutch fanbase at the Red Bull Ring, won the Austrian race in 2018 from fourth on the grid, benefitting from a rare double retirement for Mercedes AMG Motorsport duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Red Bull and Verstappen are still searching for their first win of the ’19 season, but the 21-year-old is yet to finish outside the top five in a race and has two podiums to his name.
While Verstappen admitted after last Sunday’s French Grand Prix that a repeat of ’18’s victory is unlikely, he is relishing the prospect to returning to his team’s home race track.
“I’m looking forward to the Austrian Grand Prix, especially going back there after we won last year,” said Verstappen.
“Winning at the Red Bull Ring in a Red Bull car was a very special moment and it was incredible with so many Austrian and Dutch fans in the crowd.
“Wherever you are sitting around the circuit, you can get a good view of the whole track, which I think is good because it creates more of an atmosphere when the fans can follow the race so closely.”
A short lap with plenty of high-speed corners may still play into the hands of Red Bull and Verstappen, with the latter urging power unit supplier Honda to improve its new ‘Spec 3’ package – introduced at the French race – in order to catch up to Red Bull’s former partner Renault, who also brought power upgrades to Circuit Paul Ricard.
“It’s a short lap but the track is challenging as there are so many different types of corner, so in terms of car balance there is a lot to consider and it’s not that easy to set the car up,” Verstappen added.
“We will of course do our best and it’s always good for the team to be in Austria as it’s a home grand prix and there’s a really good energy.
“I think there will be a lot of adrenaline flowing this week.”