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Verstappen predicts tough Hungarian GP for Red Bull and names team to beat

Max Verstappen expects a tough battle with Ferrari as F1 returns to the Hungaroring

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Max Verstappen expects a tough fight to overhaul Ferrari at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix, saying he sees the Scuderia as a step ahead of Red Bull at the Hungaroring.

Verstappen holds a 63-point lead over Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc in the Driver Standings but the Monegasque will be desperate to reduce that before the four-week summer break.

“I think it’s going to be a little bit harder for us, just purely one-lap performance especially,” Verstappen told the media.

“I don’t expect it to be terrible but I do think the Ferraris are going to be super-strong here.

“They have been the whole year but I do think this is a track there it might be very strong let’s say.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the 2022 French Grand Prix REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

“We’ll see also the weather, I don’t know what’s going to happen, how much rain is falling but all these things can come into play.”

Mercedes have also been improving in recent races but still expect to be behind the championship frontrunners. Verstappen wasn’t all negative though, adding Red Bull have some tricks up their sleeve to try.

“I think there are always ideas, you want to try in free practice so that’s what we’ll try to do again,” Verstappen said when asked how he’ll approach the weekend.

“It’s nothing drastic, just general just set up directions you want to look at.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during 2022 Austrian Grand Prix REUTERS/Florion Goga

Not-so-summer holiday

After the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix, F1 takes a break until the end of August with teams mandated to shut down for 14 consecutive days by the FIA’s sporting regulations.

But Verstappen said he won’t be relaxing too much over that period, and gave short shrift to any notion that his gap to Leclerc will be unassailable.

“I think if you know me you know that I will not be playing on the beach,” Verstappen added on his summer plans.

“I don’t really care about points gap. For me it’s all about trying to be perfect every single weekend and it’s not that once you have that gap that you start to relax.

“I still want to win more races and that’s what we’re trying to do as a team.”

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