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Verstappen Unfazed by Rivals, Focuses on Self-Improvement

Verstappen Unfazed by Rivals, Focuses on Self-Improvement

16/05/2024

Max Verstappen remains confident despite rising competition, focusing on pushing himself and maximizing his Red Bull’s performance. The Dutchman consistently seeks self-improvement over external pressures.

Max Verstappen is pleased with Red Bull Racing’s season start, even though he knows the competition is much tighter than it was in 2023.

Speaking to the media in Imola, the 26-year-old Dutchman reveals he doesn’t need the increased competition and pressure from his rivals to make the most of his RB20.

“The first five races weren’t as simple as some have tried to make it seem,” Verstappen explains.

“It’s always about the details. It’s always about paying attention to all the little things; that’s where we make the difference at our level in F1.”

“And some weekends have been better than others. Since the beginning of the year, other teams have been closer than last year. We’ve had a pretty good start to the year where we’ve done a lot of good things. Of course, we had a retirement that cost us a lot of points, but I expect this season to be generally tighter than last year.”

To stay ahead, Verstappen… doesn’t look back!

“It doesn’t seem like there’s a challenge coming from outside. Because I challenge myself every weekend to try to get the most out of my F1. That’s why you can see me grumbling even when I’m in front. For me, it’s never boring, because I don’t need another team or another driver to offer that.”

“I’m in a constant challenge with myself to try to get the most out of things. It’s not like I’m waiting for something to happen from others to suddenly feel more appreciation or more validation for what we’ve done or what I’m doing.”

Challenging himself is Verstappen’s way of life, as he combines Imola with the 24-hour virtual race at Nurburgring this weekend.

“It’s not a clash… An endurance race, you do it with others, right? We’ll see, nothing is completely confirmed about my schedule yet. We’ll see how it goes. Of course, F1 is the priority, but if I have a bit more free time, who knows?”

Verstappen also revealed that he installed a full simulator in his motorhome.

“I have a complete simulation setup. Not as good as the one at home, but I’ve built a new one. It’s important to have a good connection too.”

Returning to Imola, Verstappen admitted he didn’t know how competitive Red Bull would be.

“There are more teams coming with upgrades – Ferrari, for example, is coming here with a very big upgrade, so at the moment, it’s hard to know where we’ll be. These things are planned long in advance. It’s not like a team comes with upgrades, and we say, ‘Oh, we need to put something in place too.’ It’s literally already in preparation for us as well.”

“We’re happy with our speed, but we naturally need to keep pushing because the teams behind us are definitely catching up – as you saw in Miami, when we don’t do things 100%, they are even ahead. We need to try to ensure we don’t have too many weekends like that.”

Verstappen Unfazed by Rivals, Focuses on Self-Improvement

Verstappen Unfazed by Rivals, Focuses on Self-Improvement. Verstappen Unfazed by Rivals, Focuses on Self-Improvement

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