Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has revealed plans to catch the relentless Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, with the 24-year-old currently leading the drivers’ championships by 63 points.
The reigning world champion, Verstappen, has in turn demanded perfection from himself as he admits there’s still work to be done if he is to secure a successive F1 title.
Ferrari and Red Bull have dominated pole position over the course of the season, but the former have thrown away crucial points through reliability problems and driver error between Sainz and team-mate Charles Leclerc.
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The latest incident came last weekend at the French Grand Prix, when Leclerc crashed out whilst leading the race, which Verstappen took full advantage of to win his seventh race of the season and stretch his advantage at the top of the drivers’ championships.
Despite the gap, Sainz is determined to close it before the 24-year-old manages to wrap up a second title and has outlined plans to catch the Red Bull star.
“I think it is clear for Ferrari what we need to do, which is to win those races that Max wants to win,” Sainz said.
“Getting those 25 points makes quite a big difference in the points swing. I think there's still a lot of things that could happen up there at the front – there's always a great battle going on between the two teams which I think is going to keep going until the end of the year.
"It is true at some point we need a bit of help from Red Bull in terms of reliability and DNFs, but even without those statistically if it's open, it's open.
“Until it's impossible, you need to keep believing and you need to keep trying to win everything you can and keep yourself in the fight. We're going to keep trying, keep improving as a team because whatever we can learn this year can also be used for the next few years."
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Verstappen however has admitted that there’s still work to do, and has eyed perfection for the remainder of the season as he edges closer to the title.
“I think if you know me you know I will not be laying on the beach,” he said when asked if he plans to relax.
"And second of all I don't really care about the points gap, because for me it's all about trying to be perfect every single race weekend.
“When you have that gap it's not like you relax or something – I still want to win more races and that's what we'll try to do as a team."
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