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Max Verstappen

Verstappens takes Perez jab: 'That's the real key to being a good F1 driver'

Max Verstappen's 2023 world title turned out to be one of the most dominant ever in Formula 1 history. But at the beginning of the season it did not look like this, as Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez each had two wins to their name after four races.

Verstappen Abu Dhabi
To news overview © XPBimages

Four races into the 2023 Formula 1 season and both Red Bull drivers had two wins each.

The Miami GP entered with a minuscule six-point difference in favour of Verstappen. There was talk of a two-way battle, but Verstappen believes the start of the 2023 season should be put into perspective.

"You have to paint the whole picture. I had to start from 15th place in Saudi Arabia," Verstappen told Auto Motor und Sport.

"In Baku, I was lightly penalized by the safety car. So from my point of view, it's not quite fair to talk about a level playing field. Because that's not how I saw it.

"You have to take into account all the circumstances that led to it. That has somewhat distorted the impression."

Verstappen: I'm not interested in others opinions

Once they reached the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Verstappen became more and more familiar with the RB19.

"It's different settings that have to come together. A few things you can adjust through the steering wheel: Brake balance, differential, engine braking," he explained.

"The new tires also work a little differently. Dealing with them, deploying them a little bit differently, seemed to help me get more out of the car."

This set the Dutchman up on a run of 10 race wins in a row, which would eventually be broken by Carlos Sainz at the Singapore Grand Prix in October.

By this point a lot of people wrote off Perez, but what does Verstappen think? "I'm not interested in other people's opinions. They don't know our car. I just try to get the best out of it. And I do that every time. I don't know how dominant this car is compared to previous cars. Nobody knows that.

"I tune the car the way I like it. And the other driver tunes it to his needs. The engineers develop the car to make it faster. And not how I would like it.

"The same goes for the driving style. What is my driving style? I don't know. I adapt to the needs of the car to make it the fastest. That's the key to being a really good Formula 1 driver. Adapting to what you get from the team."

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