With two dominant seasons in a row, Max Verstappen has opened up on what made the RB19 so formidable in his hands.
Verstappen won his third consecutive Drivers’ Championship in 2023, with the most dominant season ever by a single driver as he won 19 races en route to the title.
Having dominated 2022 as well, the RB19 proved near-unbeatable in his hands this season, and the Dutch driver has explained why he suspects why that’s the case.
Max Verstappen hails experience as key factor to improved 2023 showing
Appearing on the UK’s Channel 4 following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Verstappen was typically matter-of-fact as he reflected on his approach to the final race in what has been an unprecedented season.
“I mean, to be honest, it’s just been a lot of fun, working with the team,” he said.
“Of course, when you start to have like a certain kind of streak, you just want more and more.
“You don’t really think about where it will end, you just keep on working, and keep on trying to win more. And that’s what we did.
“So, also, when I came here, we had won already a lot of races, but I was like ‘Let’s try to win this final race as well’.
“It didn’t start off that great in practice but in qualifying and also the race, the car was on fire again.”
Having improved from an already dominant year in 2022 to put in the sport’s most dominant season ever in ’23, Verstappen was asked what changes he had brought to the table to bring about the change.
“I think trying to use your experience to the good,” he said, laughing as it was pointed out to him how the only damage he’d picked up all year was two broken front wings – one of which had been from hitting the pitwall exiting his garage.
“I think that is how to approach a weekend, how to try and get the most out of it with the setup and, besides that, it’s just consistency like trying not to make too many mistakes.
“Damage is one of them, with a budget cap. So I think I did that again a little bit better than last year. And the car was also better.”
With the RB19 becoming the sport’s most dominant car, having only lost one race all season, Verstappen said he had felt a clear step forward in some areas compared to the RB18.
“I think the car is quite predictable in terms of when we try things, when we do a different set of changes compared to last year,” he explained.
“It really sometimes was very good but, sometimes, it was also like we were a bit lost with the setup and it feels like this car was just easier to get on top of as well.
“In the race, especially, I think it was a bit better on tyres, and that made our life a lot easier.”