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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull chief sees 'insane' Verstappen making key difference

Since the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull has only been defeated on three occasions. Pierre Waché, Red Bull's technical director, says in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365 that Max Verstappen plays a big part in the success.

Verstappen Sainz Australia start
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull's statistics have been insane in recent years and will potentially never be surpassed. A total of 47 races have been held since the first race in 2022 through to the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, with Red Bull having won a whopping 40 of them.

Their dominance has been labelled as boring by some, although their brilliance will be looked back on in awe by many. Now, fans are looking back on the era of Michael Schumacher, Jean Todt and Ross Brawn, whilst the names of Max Verstappen, Dr. Helmut Marko, Christian Horner, Adrian Newey and Pierre Wache will also soon come to mind when Red Bull's superiority is remembered.

With the latter name, RacingNews365 spoke exclusively during the Grand Prix weekend in Australia. Verstappen's role within Red Bull could not, of course, go unmentioned for long. In his first answer, Red Bull's technical director is already praising the triple world champion's qualities.

"Max is very fast on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit," Wache replied when asked about the famous 2022 Belgian Grand Prix. Verstappen then had to start from 14th place after a grid penalty, but still managed to win the race.

"In addition, the RB18 also suited the track perfectly. Those two aspects made the difference in Belgium. The fact that there were still a lot of bouncing cars also played a role, because that's where the problem can arise with the current generation of cars.

"We actually gained an advantage over the competition because the rules were tightened. Therefore, you can speak of a turning point during that weekend. Indeed, Ferrari had the fastest car in the field at the beginning of 2022."

He continued: "We got the full potential out of the car at Spa and that while the FIA tightened the rules in terms of the board under the car. That change ultimately gave us an even greater advantage over the competition.

"We were already not suffering as much from porpoising and from that point on the difference between us and Ferrari became even greater."

A year later, the Red Bull drivers did have to elevator through the famous Eau Rouge corner, to save the floorboard a bit.

"They could have gone full throttle through Eau Rouge in 2023, but then the floorboard wouldn't have been thick enough anymore," laughs Wache when we ask him about the remarkable action of the Red Bull drivers in 2023.

"Because of the rules, we had to find a compromise and we did that by adjusting the set-up of the car and having the drivers elevator through Eau Rouge."

What makes Verstappen so special?

In 2024, Red Bull has already recorded two one-two finishes and the team once again appears to be the big favourite for the world title.

That also means that Verstappen has a great chance of winning a fourth consecutive crown, and that while he only turns 27 this year. According to Wache, what makes the Dutchman the special driver he is?

"First of all, of course, he is Dutch," Wache laughs before giving a serious answer. "He loves racing, has insane talent and feels the limit of the car perfectly. Before I started working with him, I had never experienced a driver who was immediately on the limit on his first lap.

"That really gives him an insane advantage, especially since we are allowed to test so little these days. It's also an advantage for us when you have a driver who can immediately drive the car at the limit."

"That's because it gives you an advantage.

"This is because it gives you immediate insight into what you need to improve on the car. That's because you clearly know what the limit of the car is and therefore you know what you need to improve."

Wache continued: "Also, he is just as good at driving the car as the driver.

"Also, like us, he is an engineer because he is constantly looking for opportunities to improve the car. Victory is not enough for him, he always wants more, just like the rest of the team. He doesn't rest after a victory so to speak, he keeps going," Wache concluded with words of praise.

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