Verstappen insists Red Bull dominance ’not boring’
"I’m convinced that we too have to do more to stay ahead"
Max Verstappen insists that, at least from his perspective, his and Red Bull’s dominance of Formula 1 is not "boring".
In recent races, there have been signs that the gap between Red Bull and the energy drink-owned team’s rivals is closing up.
"It’s true that other teams might be talking a bit more about updates and bigger packages of new parts they’re bringing along," said the reigning world champion.
But he denied Lewis Hamilton’s claim that Red Bull has now effectively finished developing its dominant 2023 car and is now fully focusing on next year’s version.
"We’re not standing still either," Verstappen, 25, said. "We always have parts with us, because I’m convinced that we too have to do more to stay ahead.
"But of course it’s a good sign that we’ve done less than some opponents and we still have a good lead.
"Our lead is bigger or smaller depending on the route - we are normally not as strong on a street circuit," the Dutchman added. "But I think we have a good basis.
"We just have to make sure that we exploit the potential at each race."
As for whether Formula 1 has become too boring under his reign, he said that’s at least not true from his own perspective.
"We had so many years where we were close to it and we thought ’next year is going to be our year’ and then for some reason it didn’t work out," said Verstappen.
"Now that we are finally at the top, I enjoy every moment of it. But of course we are aware that the others are now in the role that we had before.
"That means they are also improving and of course trying to overtake us. We recognise that mentality and know what they want to achieve, but we try to stay ahead of them."
Charles Leclerc said at Silverstone that while Ferrari seemed closer to Red Bull in Austria, the 2023 car could "suffer a little more" this weekend with more high-speed corners.
And James Vowles, Williams’ team boss, thinks it could take up to a year for his old team at Mercedes to close the gap.
"The gap has narrowed compared to before," he is quoted by L’Equipe. "But it will take more time.
"I believe Mercedes lost a year of development while I was still there simply because the direction they took was very different from the rest of the pack.
"And you can’t correct that in a week," Vowles added. "Mercedes is an incredible organisation and they will come back to the top, but I think it will take them another six or 12 months to do that."