Max Verstappen looks past Ayrton Senna record

Max Verstappen took his 41st victory in Formula 1 at the 2023 Canadian GP

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Max Verstappen expressed his pride in matching Ayrton Senna’s win record after dominating Sunday’s 2023 Canadian Grand Prix, but is aiming for more success in Formula 1.

Verstappen, who took pole by over a second at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, enjoyed an easy win and cruised to victory in Montreal to earn his 41st F1 win and the sixth of 2023.

That leaves Verstappen the joint-fifth most successful driver in F1 alongside Senna, and behind Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost.

“I hate to compare different generations,” said Verstappen to the media, when asked about matching Senna‘s tally. “When I was a little kid driving in karting, I was dreaming about being an F1 driver.

“I would never have imagined winning 41 GPs. To tie with Ayrton is something incredible, and I’m proud of that, but of course, I hope it’s not stopping here.

“I hope we can keep on winning more races.”

Change in Red Bull set up crucial to victory

Although he led every lap in Canada and built a cushion of over nine seconds on second-place finisher Fernando Alonso at the checkered flag, Verstappen didn’t have an easy race.

Not least, after struggling for grip during the second stint and a bird strike which caused the animal remains to be stuck in Verstappen‘s brakes.

Friday hadn’t been an easy day for Red Bull either, as the team were forced into an overnight set-up change which ultimately paid off. 

“We changed the car quite a bit compared to Friday,” said Verstappen. “I didn’t know how it would feel today, but luckily, it went in the right direction.

“It was quite tough today to keep the tyres in the right window. They were running quite cold, so we had to push quite hard on the tyres with low grip.

“It’s probably not been our best race today. But yeah, everything went well you would have needed a car which is a bit harder on the tyre to keep the temperatures. 

“Still, to win by nine seconds, I think, shows we have a great car.”

Canadian GP 2023 race winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Enjoying battles with Alonso and Hamilton

For the second time in 2023, Alonso and Lewis Hamilton joined Verstappen on the podium and despite their best efforts, they have been unable to usurp the Dutchman in 2023.

“Ten years ago, I was not on the grid,” said Verstappen. “I remember back in the day, I watched these two in F1 race each other. 

“Racing them is probably [one of] the best things out there, and when we can share a podium together, I’ve done it now a few times I think it’s great.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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