Verstappen: “I don’t really think about being invincible” as he eyes 10th straight win at F1 Australian GP

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool
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Having won every race since the Japanese Grand Prix, Max Verstappen finds himself on the verge of equaling his own record for most consecutive race wins in Formula 1 history. 

Verstappen acknowledged the feat but noted that chasing records is not something he gives much thought to, opting instead for a more grounded race-by-race approach.

“I mean, of course it’s pretty crazy but for me, I don’t really think about these kind of things too much. Every single weekend I approach it as just one single achievement,” he told the media in Melbourne.

“Of course it’s great that we have the opportunity to try and win ten in a row again, but for me what is more important is that we always score points and win the championship. That’s what you go for every year.”

Regarding Red Bull’s chances of storming to yet another commanding win, Verstappen said: “Yeah, it depends on a lot of little details.

“From our side also we need to make sure that when we put the car on the track that the balance is good and we understand the tyre compounds because they’re softer this year. And I think if we do that well then actually I think we should have a strong car.”

After a shaky start to the 2022 season—including a DNF at the season opener in Bahrain and later during the Australian Grand Prix—a disheartened Verstappen said he had no reason to believe a second career title could materialise. Two years later, Verstappen’s a three-time World Champion—and hasn’t recorded a DNF since that race in Australia.

“Hasn’t always been like that in the past,” Verstappen remarked, alluding to the reliability woes that plagued Red Bull throughout 2017 and 2018.

“Well, I mean I also don’t want to really think about it too much or jinx it but I think the last two years like two and a half years has been pretty incredible, I think, from the inside with the reliability. We want to keep that going and that’s what we are always working on.”

The upcoming round marks the season’s first daytime event after two night races.

“Well, I don’t mind waking up quite late in the day,” Verstappen said when asked if he has a preference. “I am more of a night person I would say, but yeah, of course a day race is also fine.”

European fans will have to brace themselves for a very early wake-up—or, alternatively, consider pulling an all-nighter—to catch all the on-track action this weekend. The Australian Grand Prix has always been a morning race for European viewers, but this year the time difference will be exacerbated as the race is taking place before Daylight Savings Time comes into effect at the end of March. This effectively means the race will be getting underway at 04:00 GMT/05:00 CET, despite the 15:00 local start time remaining the same.

Although it might be inconvenient for European viewers, Verstappen said that the change is a welcome one for the drivers, who previously complained about poor visibility on track when the sun started getting low. Last year’s race, held in early April, concluded uncharacteristically late following a series of red flag-induced delays, leading a number of drivers—including Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez—to brand the conditions as dangerous.

“I think what definitely is a bit better here is that it’s a bit earlier because the sun was quite low in the previous year also, like [during] qualifying for example, so hopefully that will help our visibility a little,” Verstappen said.

Despite his dominance, Verstappen admitted he doesn’t dwell on his perceived invincibility. Instead, he prioritises enjoying the racing and optimising his performance every weekend.

“Well, from my side…so, I don’t really think about being invincible.

“I think of course as a driver you always have to believe that you’re the best on the grid, but at the other end also I’m not really too worried about thinking that way. I’m just enjoying myself, I feel good with the car and I guess that’s enough,” he continued.

“I mean I know that when I get to the race weekend…I always try to do the best I can, I try to really maximise everything that I can, and of course when you then have a great car then you know you are able to do great things.”