Max Verstappen isn’t sure he can overhaul Charles Leclerc for third place in the championship standings although the Red Bull driver expects to be competitive in the final two races of the 2019 season.

Verstappen’s deficit to Leclerc stands at 14 points ahead of next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, the Dutchman seizing fourth in the Drivers’ standings from Sebastian Vettel thanks to his third-place finish in Austin.

Verstappen and Leclerc have two wins each to their credit this year but the Dutchman justified his points shortfall relative to the Ferrari driver by an excess loss of points suffered earlier in the season.

“I think the gap to third imight be a little bit too big to close, but let’s see,” Verstappen said.

“In my last few races we lost so many points, that was not ideal. I expect we will be competitive in the last two races so let’s see how it will all work out for us.

“It is of course always better to finish third than fourth or fifth, even though I think everybody wants to be first, but we will try everything we can.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF90 and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB15.

Verstappen has stepped up onto the podium in Sao Paul twice in the last four years, finishing runner-up in 2018 at Interlagos which he describes as “a short track but a lot of fun to drive”.

“It has a good combination of corners and it’s also anti-clockwise so it’s a bit heavier on the neck,” added the 22-year-old.

“Qualifying is pretty important there as overtaking is not so easy. The track is also quite hard on tyres so you need to look after them throughout the race.

“As we saw in 2016, crazy weather can happen too! Brazil has a lot of passionate fans who live and breathe F1 so it’s always great to see that and it makes for a great atmosphere.”

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