Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Max Verstappen: "I have improved in every area since making my Formula 1 debut"

Max Verstappen believes he has improved in “every area” since making his Formula 1 debut earlier this year.

Max Verstappen: "I have improved in every area since making my Formula 1 debut"

Max Verstappen believes he has improved in “every area” since making his Formula 1 debut earlier this year.

The Dutch driver was just 17-years-old with one season of experience in the junior categories when he began racing for Toro Rosso in F1, but reckons he has made significant progress and coped well with the pressure of competing at the highest level.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Verstappen said: “I think I [have] improved in every area. Especially after only one season in lower categories, when you make the leap to F1, the raw speed is there but you have to develop in all the other areas. I coped with that pretty well, so I’m happy with how the whole season [has gone] in general.”

Max Verstappen

Verstappen has scored 47 points so far this year and has a best result of fourth – achieved in Hungary and again in America last month – and added that he had improved most in qualifying thanks to more experience creating a better understanding of the Pirelli tyres.

He said: “I improved in everything; I think qualifying especially is all going well now. With the help of the team it is going much better, but I expected it to be like that as I am still very young so I have a lot of things to learn. Experience and understanding the tyres a bit more [helped in qualifying].”

Verstappen has already been the subject of much speculation about where he will move next in his F1 career. The 18-year-old was openly courted by Mercedes during his single season in European Formula 3 last year, before signing a deal with Red Bull, and has been linked with Ferrari at regular stages throughout 2015.

Max Verstappen

But Verstappen says he is content to stay where he is for the time being before making a move to a bigger squad after the next few seasons have been completed.

He said: “I’m never in a hurry, but when you have two fourth places and you are close to the podium, you want to be on it. But I still have a lot of things to learn and I’m pretty happy where I am right now. Hopefully in a couple of years I can fight for victories.”

Max Verstappen

Verstappen also described the pleasant family feel at Toro Rosso as one of the team’s strengths, and although he pointed out that the car still lacks power on the straights, his partnership with Carlos Sainz is the best the Italian team has seen since it ran Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais back in 2008.

He said: “I think a strong point is the atmosphere in the team – maybe it is something Italian? I enjoyed that a lot in go-karting and it’s still like that here as well, it’s like a big family. When a driver feels well in a team the performance goes better as well.

“The team is still very young and ambitious and compared to last year the car is a big step forwards so I’m very happy to drive such a good car. We are maybe missing just a little bit of top speed.”

Verstappen has attracted interest from both Ferrari and Mercedes, but Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner told BBC 5 Live in Brazil issued a 'hands-off' warning, underlining that rival teams will have to wait as the Dutchman is under contract with his team and is on loan to Toro Rosso.

Max Verstappen

What have you made of Verstappen so far this season? Will he make a successful transition to a top team in the coming years? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
shares
comments
New Renault engine could help seal Red Bull 2016 plan
Previous article

New Renault engine could help seal Red Bull 2016 plan

Next article

Mercedes to trial S-duct in Brazilian GP

Mercedes to trial S-duct in Brazilian GP
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021