Red Bull driver debunks ‘sceptical’ Max Verstappen RB19 theory

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen celebrates with the Red Bull F1 team.

It is more than just the driver behind a successful racing team.

Jake Dennis has dispelled speculation Red Bull’s Formula 1 cars as designed around Max Verstappen, the development driver adamant that’s “really not the case”.

Beating his team-mates in his last six seasons with Red Bull, and in fact destroying them after Daniel Ricciardo left the team to be replaced by Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon and now Sergio Perez, it has been suggested that Red Bull favour Verstappen.

The Dutchman has won 51 Grands Prix to his team-mates’ combined seven in those six years, as well as three World titles to zero.

Jake Dennis insists RB19 not ‘purely made’ for Max Verstappen

That had Perez claiming last season that Red Bull were developing the car more in line with Verstappen’s driving style than his own.

Red Bull chief Paul Monaghan denied this, insisting that all Red Bull wanted was to make the car “faster” and that “it would be foolish of us to not then try and give Checo a method to get more out of it.”

Perez, though, hinted at it again this season.

Struggling in the midst of his qualifying hoodoos hit while Verstappen went on a ten-race charge, revealed he had to “change my driving style to adapt to the car more than at the beginning of the season when things were coming more naturally.”

His father Antonio added to this when he told ESTO that the “car is set for Max because he drives with all the grip at the front and Checo has done it all the time with the grip at the back.”

Dennis, Red Bull’s development driver, has called bull on this. recommends

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Driving the RB19 in the opening practice hour at the season finale in Abu Dhabi and then again during the post-season test, both times behind the wheel of Verstappen’s car, he says the RB19 is “exactly” like a race car should be.

“Obviously, we’ve had an incredible season, Max especially,” said Dennis on Sky Sports F1. “He is something special behind the wheel. I think obviously the Red Bull suits him extremely well.

“I don’t agree when people say, ‘Are the cars designed for Max?’

“I jumped in that thing today and it felt exactly like how a race car should. It does what you want it to do, it turns the way it should turn.

“I think people who are often sceptical jump to conclusions of ‘This car is purely made for Max’ – it’s really not the case.

“Any team goes out there to build the fastest race car possible and it’s up to the driver to adjust to that.

“And I think that’s exactly what Red Bull have done and Max, obviously the talent he is, has done that.”

Verstappen won his third World title this season in what was a record-breaking campaign with his 19 wins, 21 podiums, 575 points, most laps led and most races left in a season when becoming World Champion.

He also has the highest percentage points difference between first and second in the World Championship having scored more than half Perez’s points, 50.43%.

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