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Max Verstappen

The race Verstappen 'felt under pressure' to win in 2023

The Dutchman discusses the moment he was put under pressure the most during his dominant season at the wheel of the Red Bull RB19.

Verstappen Qatar
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has named the race in which he felt the most pressure to win during the 2023 Formula 1 season.

It was nearly a clean sweep for the Dutchman after he took 19 wins out of 22 races, setting the record for most wins in a season and gaining a win percentage of 86%.

Verstappen also broke the record for most successive wins, after taking eleven in a row between the Miami and Italian Grands Prix.

Some of those wins have not been straight forward, after he was forced to start from the midfield at the races in Monza and Spa Francorchamps.

When asked which win was the hardest out of the 19, the Dutchman told media, including RacingNews365: "It has a lot to do with track conditions or whatever.

"For example, the race in Zandvoort, when you're driving on slicks and it's raining.

"I normally enjoy driving in the wet, but I also know that I'm leading the championship and if I go off and I'm stuck you lose a lot of points."

Verstappen: It's a different mindset when you're fighting for a championship

The wet conditions were treacherous, leading to Zhou Guanyu crashing and Charles Leclerc having a close call with the barriers.

Many drivers were faced with a tough call at the start after they started on dry tyres and had to make the switch to Intermediates.

Verstappen fell back to fourth and had to work through the field to reclaim P1 from team-mate Sergio Pérez, before having a clear run to the chequered flag in front of his home crowd after a late red flag.

"Naturally, you're always driving a little bit under the limit, but that can be, in a way, dangerous as well," said Verstappen.

"So when I was out there on slicks, you feel a bit pressured. Sometimes there are people behind you that are a bit faster, because they have nothing to lose.

"It's a very different mindset as well that you're in when you are fighting for a championship."

The Dutchman moved 138 points clear of Sergio Pérez after the race, setting him on course to take his third title later in the season at Qatar.

In terms of the race he enjoyed winning the most, Verstappen had a plethora of options to choose from: "I think my win in Miami I really enjoyed.

"Spa, Zandvoort, but also Suzuka, like, winning the Constructors’ for example with the team there was fantastic. It's difficult to really pick one to be honest."

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