Max Verstappen’s unique driving style is allowing him to reap the rewards of the dominant RB19, a prominent member of Red Bull has revealed.
Verstappen has been untouchable at Red Bull at the wheel of this year’s RB19, having just won his record-breaking 10th consecutive Grand Prix with a dominant drive at the Italian Grand Prix.
The Dutch driver has been the star performer at Red Bull for the past few seasons, easily eclipsing current teammate Sergio Perez as well as short-lived partnerships with Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon.
Max Verstappen has ‘same mentality’ as Red Bull
Red Bull technical director Pierre Wache has shed light on how Verstappen’s mentality to racing is allowing his own talents, and those of the staff at Red Bull, to prosper now that the performance level of the car allows them to be competitive in the sport.
“He is special,” Wache told GPFans.nl.
“His motivation is very high. He wants to win everything. That doesn’t go through his head, but in everything he does, he does his best.
“His demands are high and the talent he has is huge. The combination of him and us: we have the same goal in mind and the same mentality. Nothing is guaranteed and we push every day to achieve the best possible. That’s how he is, and we are on that same page.”
Max Verstappen’s unique driving style and comparison to Sebastian Vettel
As technical director at Red Bull, Wache is well-placed to have some detailed knowledge of the unique style that Verstappen drives with. The Dutch driver is well-known for being able to handle a tricky car, particularly one that other drivers may struggle with, and Verstappen’s desire for a highly responsive front end means Red Bull finds it easier to unlock performance.
“Max wants a car that is very responsive,” Wache explained.
“It is very unique in the sense that he wants a lot of front axle compared to others we have worked with in the past. It is very difficult to find performance in the rear of the car. It is a bit easier to find performance in the front of the car. He thus opens the door for us to make the car faster, because he has the capacity and also the preference to have a very sensitive front end.”
Prior to Verstappen’s arrival at Red Bull in 2016, the team had just come off the back of an extended four-year period of dominance with the now-retired Sebastian Vettel. The German driver swept all before him during his four consecutive title years, and Wache sees some similarities between Vettel and Verstappen.
“Both are very talented and they have a clear goal,” he said.
“They differ a bit in the sense that Max is a bit more focused on what makes the car in front of him faster or slower at that moment. Seb was more concerned with the complete system of how the car worked. It’s a different approach to feedback.
It’s Verstappen’s growth as a person and a driver that has most impressed Wache, however, with the Dutch driver transforming from a rough diamond as a teenager to the steely, complete, racing driver he now is as a young adult.
“He is very confident in his talent on the track,” the Frenchman explained.
“He doesn’t have to prove anything anymore, so he might take a little less risk at times when he doesn’t need to. His talent is still the same, and he has become a bit more mature in his feedback. When you are young, you don’t know how the team reacts to you. Now he knows us. It’s a partnership we both understand.”