I too have to “adapt to the car I get given”


Over the past two seasons Verstappen was able to get the most of out his Red Bull machinery, dominating the 2022 and 2023 seasons with 34 wins, while team-mate Sergio Perez struggled to keep up with the development of the car and its ideal set-ups.

It led to suggestions the Red Bulls are built around Verstappen, after previous team-mates Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon also scrambled to keep up.

But speaking exclusively to Autosport, Verstappen feels talk of his unique driving style is overblown, explaining he has to adapt to how the car needs to be driven at the limit just like anyone else.

“When people ask you: ‘What is your driving style?’, I can’t tell you because it’s about being able to adapt to certain situations or what the car likes as well,” Verstappen said.

“What do I want? I want more grip. There’s a lot of things that you want, some things are not realistic. So, I just adapt to the car that I get given.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

While Verstappen is said to enjoy a car with a strong front-end, and he has an uncanny ability to deal with an unstable rear-end as a trade-off, he did point out that the team simply tries to create a faster car rather than just chase a desired balance.

“Throughout the year, the team just applies upgrades to the car to make it faster. Not to try and follow a certain balance direction or whatever,” he added.

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“It’s just overall load, overall grip, that you gain from upgrades. I’m quite happy with the behaviour of the car, but if the car is a little bit more understeery I have to adapt my driving to that. Or if it’s more oversteery it’s the same way.

“I think it’s been quite okay. Some races anyway you have more oversteer or more understeer. It’s very up and down in terms of balance, it’s not always on the nose. Some tracks you cannot run it like that.”

When asked why Red Bull’s RB19 was so much stronger in the race than in qualifying trim compared to its rivals, he shrugged: “I don’t know – I don’t think we do anything magic in the race.

“We do our normal offset. I think the other people are having a great qualifying but then not a good race, if you know what I mean.

“Of course, you always look at the race performance, but we also want to be quick in qualifying. It’s nothing weird that we do just to purely focus on the race.”



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