Max Verstappen on breaking Ayrton Senna F1 record: You can’t compare it

Victory at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix leaves Max Verstappen on 40 Formula 1 Grand Prix wins


Max Verstappen was unmoved by the prospect of drawing level with Ayrton Senna on 41 Formula 1 world championship wins, ahead of the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen travels to Canada with 40 career victories but having won the last three Grand Prix in his dominant Red Bull then he’s the odds-on favourite to level the Brazilian great at the next time of asking.

However, when Verstappen was asked by the media how he felt about potentially breaking the record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, he brushed off the question.

“I never really look at the number,” Verstappen told the media ahead of the Canadian GP. “People always have different kinds of careers, maybe some drivers, they get into a race-winning car sooner than others, nowadays we have more races than back in the day.

“When I was a little kid, I would have never imagined being in that list. So for me, it’s definitely an amazing achievement. But you can’t compare it.”

Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Thierry Boutsen at GP Molson du Canada in Montreal, Canada in 1988.

Verstappen aloof about clean sweep of GP wins

Many fans expect Red Bull to win every single race in 2023, with the Milton Keynes outfit in control of comfortably the fastest car.

Verstappen‘s taken five wins on the season ahead of the Canadian GP, while Sergio Perez has shown himself capable of stepping into the breach when required and has taken two victories.

However, Verstappen, said he doesn’t expect the team to make history in that regard.

“If you look at how we are performing now, yes. But it’s very unrealistic,” Verstappen said. “There will always be things that will go wrong in a season that are sometimes out of your control, so I’m not thinking that is possible.

“And it’s also not necessary. Last year was already quite crazy with 15 wins. But as long as I win the championship, that’s the most important.”

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the podium after the 2023 Spanish GP | David Ramos/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Hamilton on threat of Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to Verstappen, and said he expects the Dutchman to break his overall grand prix wins record, currently standing at 103.

The pair fought a brutal title battle in 2021, culminating in the hugely controversial Abu Dhabi GP where Verstappen was gifted the championship by an erroneous late call by then-race director Michael Masi.

That was after Hamilton had set up the winner-takes-all encounter with a divisive win at the Saudi Arabian GP, still his last trip to the top step of the podium.

“He’s got a very long career ahead of him,” Hamilton said. “So absolutely, I think ultimately records are there to be broken and he’s got an amazing team.

“But we’ve got to work harder to try and continue to extend it. I hope we get to have some at least within the last period of time in my career. I hope it gets to have some more close racing. 

“It’s very hard to beat, you need to be in the right car for a long time. And we don’t know if we have that. But it’s also not something I ever looked at, I’m just going with the flow and joining the moment.”

For Verstappen‘s part, he added: “It’s very hard to beat, you need to be in the right car for a long time and we don’t know if we have that.

“But it’s also not something I ever looked at, I’m just going with the flow and joining the moment.”

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for and in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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