James Allison says Max Verstappen is going to be “a formidable opponent”

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

Mercedes Technical Director James Allison says he expects Max Verstappen to put up a fight once the 2020 season gets underway.

Formula 1 will finally return on July 5 in Austria, Red Bull’s home race which Max Verstappen won in 2018 and 2019. The week after that F1 will again race in Austria, which means Red Bull could be off to a good start of the season. James Allison believes Verstappen and Red Bull will be formidable opponents, but Mercedes shouldn’t be underestimated.

“There’s no doubt that Max is going to be a formidable opponent for us this year,” said Allison.

“Ferrari too showed glimpses of some form in pre-season testing, [but] we would imagine that Max will again be strong in Austria because Red Bull are always super-pumped up there – and they’ve got a bit of a track record.

“Our campaign in Austria last year was hampered by our own mistakes on the cooling side, which meant that we were chugging around way off the actual natural pace of the car.

“And the year before, [we were] hampered by some unreliability and rather clumsy moves around the Safety Car.

“So, I think we’re all looking forward to getting to Austria, and maybe showing a bit more of what we’re capable of than the slight underperformance that we put in in the previous two seasons,” concluded the Briton.

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