Max Verstappen reveals when in a weekend he determines his biggest race rival

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen during a press conference. Silverstone, July 2023

Max Verstappen during a press conference. Silverstone, July 2023

Max Verstappen may have battled a lot of different drivers this season but says he just prefers to focus on himself.

While the occupant of the P1 spot has been consistent since Miami, Verstappen has shared the podium with seven different drivers since that race.

The season has been one in which teams across the grid are on the up and down with McLaren being the team currently in favour, narrowly missing out on a double podium in Silverstone due to an unfortunately timed Safety Car.

Unlike in 2021 when his opponent was solely Lewis Hamilton, 2023 poses a different challenge in which he has to face a possible threat from many different drivers, especially off the start line. asked the Dutchman if this was a factor in his mind before he started a race but he said that instead prefers to focus on himself.

“You can see a little of a picture on Friday,” the Dutchman said after winning the 2023 British Grand Prix. “I was definitely positively surprised with the pace of McLaren in the race that they were actually very quick compared to even the cars behind [the Mercedes].

“But at the end of the day, you just have to focus on yourself throughout the whole weekend and then you just find out anyway what happens behind you.

“But positively surprised [with McLaren], let’s see what the next race will bring.” recommends

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During the race, Verstappen came over the radio to alert his team that Ferrari had pitted and he later said he just wanted to check they were still awake.

“I just wanted to check in with the team,” he joked. “Make sure that they didn’t fall asleep.

“I just saw the Ferrari pit so [I asked] ‘We just stick to our strategy right?’ ‘Yep.’ ‘Okay, let’s get on with the job.’

“That’s pretty much it. I mean, then of course we would have probably pitted quite soon anyway.

“Honestly I still need to ask the team if we would have pitted onto the soft or the hard tyre [if there was no Safety Car]. Probably on the softs but maybe that’s why it’s probably good that this Safety Car came out and saved a few laps.”

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