Max Verstappen insisted the prospect of Red Bull winning every race of the 2023 Formula 1 season isn’t playing on their minds as they return from the summer break for the Dutch GP.
Red Bull have apparently halted major developments on the RB19 as they switch focus to their 2024 car, with significantly less aerodynamic testing time after their cost cap penalty.
However, Verstappen looked so dominant in Hungary, describing it as possibly his best-ever win, and none of the other nine teams have looked even remotely close to winning a race so far in 2023.
“Honestly I don’t think we really think about it too much,” Verstappen told the media. “We just want to look ahead and try to always bring the best possible car to the track.
“I think everyone is always trying to prepare in that way. And yeah, of course yeah, we want to win here. That’s it is no secret about that.
Verstappen success brings Dutch GP
Verstappen‘s won both previous Dutch GPs since Zandvoort returned to the calendar for 2021 – it was initially scheduled for 2020 but that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A race that seems larger than life thanks to the hoards of orange-clad Dutch fans packing out the grandstands, Verstappen‘s success has had a similar effect to that of Fernando Alonso on the Spanish GP nearly two decades earlier.
The Dutch GP was previously part of the F1 championship between 1952 and 1985, with a couple of gap years, but was also the site of two driver deaths in four years – Piers Courage in 1970 and Roger Williamson in 1973.
Ahead of the start of the season, Zandvoort announced a contract extension until the end of 2025, and as long as Verstappen‘s enjoying success in F1 it will surely remain a serious contender for a spot on the calendar.
Verstappen‘s already being compared to Johan Cruyff for his impact on Dutch sport – despite being born and raised in Belgium – and was asked whether that status brings him extra pressure.
“I think it’s just great,” Verstappen said. “It doesn’t bring a weight on my shoulders or extra pressure, I think it’s just amazing that this is possible.
“10 years ago nobody even thought about a grand prix here and that we’re able to do that now is just fantastic, hopefully it will continue for a while.
“But for me, it’s just amazing to be here to see all the fans and drive such an incredible track.”