Verstappen hails superb Red Bull teamwork after setting another record

Max Verstappen stormed to an unprecedented 16th win of the 2023 F1 season

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Max Verstappen has praised his Red Bull team for their performance throughout 2023 following a dominant victory in Sunday’s Mexico City Grand Prix.

Starting from third, after missing out on pole, Verstappen made a perfect start, taking the lead into Turn 1 and pulling out a comfortable lead before his first pitstop on Lap 20.

Verstappen was back in front by Lap 31 before the red flag came out four laps later because of damage to barriers after Kevin Magnussen suffered a heavy crash at Turn 8.

At the restart, Verstappen got a flyer of a launch and would dominate the remainder of the race, securing his 16th victory of 2023 to set a new record for the most wins in a single Formula 1 campaign.

“It’s been another incredible season the car has been unbelievable to drive in most places,” reflected Verstappen to the media. 

“When you as a team work really well together and you try not to make too many mistakes over the whole season, you can achieve something like this, so I’m very proud of the achievement.

“Because after last year when I won 15, I was like, well, if I  can ever try and replicate something like that, I would be very happy, and now we are here with  16.

“Very  happy with everyone’s performance in the whole team for the whole year for basically  not making  a lot of mistakes.”

Red flag caused a strategy rethink

Although Pirelli had predicted a one-stop strategy would be the quickest way to secure victory in Sunday’s GP, Red Bull planned to go with a two-stopper starting on the hards.

Verstappen had built a 16-second lead over Charles Leclerc by the end of the first round of stops, but the red flag caused a headache for Red Bull.

Red Bull elected to keep Verstappen on the hard tyres for the restart, a strategy call which would ultimately bear fruit as the Dutchman won by 13 seconds from Lewis Hamilton and Leclerc.

“That start definitely made it a bit easier in the first stint. I was going to do a two-stop, that gave me those extra couple of seconds,” Verstappen added.

Max Verstappen celebrates victory at the 2023 Mexico City GP | Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“The tyres around here [are] always very hard to manage, but I think we had decent pace in them, and we opted to box a bit earlier. On the hard tyre, we were quite competitive.

“It would have been quite interesting to see how much faster I could have gone on a new set of hards. But we had the red flag, so everything we did, we could throw in the bin.

“Again, it was all about having a good start and trying to keep the lead into turn one, which we did, and after that, it was just pace management to the end.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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