Verstappen says Red Bull’s shown “pure dominance” in F1 2023 after constructors’ title win in Suzuka

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Max Verstappen cruised to another dominant victory in the 2023 F1 season, this time at the Japanese GP, securing Red Bull a sixth constructors’ title and a second consecutive for the Milton Keynes squad. The Dutchman didn’t hold back in his admission that he and the team have shown “pure dominance” this season – and are still looking to keep winning in races to come.

Photo Credits: Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen controlled the race from the front of the field, surviving an early attack from the McLaren duo on the opening lap, when he had to fend off both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri in a tight battle heading into the first turn.

Speaking after the race, Verstappen was very honest in his assessment of the race, saying his biggest challenge was down at the first corner, and added he could “pull away” from the rest of the field with “no real issues” on his way to a 48th career win:

“It was a bit tight into turns one and two, but we managed to keep the lead, which I think was the most important,” said Verstappen. “And basically from there onwards I could just focus on my own pace and look after my tyres, and we just had a bit more pace than everyone behind us, so we could pull away.

“[There were] no real issues throughout the race, which is always really nice when you can say that.”

When asked by Sky Sports minutes before the race start, Verstappen said “the plan” was to win the race by over 30 seconds, and admitted afterwards that already at the end of the Singapore GP he was mulling over the idea of winning by 20 seconds, which he didn’t quite achieve:

“I said on the in-lap in Singapore: ’20 seconds [winning margin in Japan]’, so I was seven tenths short [of that],” he jokingly told Sky Sports. “I should’ve pushed a little bit more in the middle stint!”

Reflecting on the team’s sixth ever and second consecutive constructors’ championship win, Verstappen didn’t hold back in his words, saying that they have shown “pure dominance” over the rest of the field this season, and urged his team to appreciate the moment while it lasts:

“What we are showing this year is pure dominance – if you exclude obviously Singapore,” he said. “It was super nice also on the in-lap, I was looking at the screen and saw the mechanics cheering and having a great time.

“These guys are working very hard, they are doing a lot of hours. And also the people back at the factory, producing the parts but also basically creating the car.

“Everyone can be very proud of this achievement, because I don’t think there will be many years where these kinds of things are possible. Now that we are here, we are enjoying it and will try to win more,” he added.

“In a few years’ time [when] you look back on it, it probably brings a smile to your face again, just to remember what you have achieved as a team.

“Apart from Singapore, we have been dominant, and that is, as a team, exactly what you want to achieve all the time.”

Victory in Japan with his team-mate and closest championship rival Sergio Perez failing to finish, Verstappen can clinch his third world title as early as the Saturday Sprint race in Qatar – a sixth place finish in the Sprint will be enough, as it would mean he has a 172-points lead heading into the final 6 races and 2 sprints, with only 172 available.

“I think it’s perfect, we can enjoy a bit on Saturday night [but] maybe the reaction time is a little bit off on Sunday, but we’ll see,” he jokingly said about the possibility of winning the championship in the Sprint. “No, it’s been an incredible season, I’m very proud of everyone here at the track and back at the factory, because this is a real team effort.”