Having clinched his second F1 world title at Suzuka earlier this month, Verstappen continued his dominant marketing campaign by scoring his 14th win of the 12 months in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
It meant Verstappen surpassed the prevailing document collectively held by Michael Schumacher from 2004 and Sebastian Vettel from 2013, in addition to claiming the document for the variety of factors scored in a single season with two races nonetheless remaining.
Following his victory on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Verstappen paid tribute to his Pink Bull staff for “one other nice race” after selecting up its sixteenth win of the 12 months and ninth in a row.
“It is simply an unbelievable season for us as a staff,” mentioned Verstappen. “I by no means thought I’d be capable of win 14 races in a 12 months. However yeah, after all, I’m extremely proud.”
The season win document has been inside Verstappen’s sightlines for a while, however the Dutchman often downplayed the significance of the document and the potential of getting there.
Upon matching the document at the US Grand Prix, Verstappen famous the distinction in eras and the way F1 seasons now have extra races. Schumacher’s 13-race haul got here in an 18-race season, whereas Vettel matched that quantity over 19 races in 2013.
Requested by Autosport after the race in Mexico if his determination to downplay it was a tactic to keep away from dropping focus, Verstappen mentioned he was uncertain however that he was “by no means actually occupied with stats.”
“I simply stay within the second,” Verstappen mentioned. “I simply attempt to, after all, do the very best I can each single weekend. I attempt to win the races and that, for me, is crucial. Each single weekend once I go residence, and I can say to myself that I maximised or near that I am completely happy.
“However after all, rather a lot in Components 1 relies on your complete package deal , proper? And we’re having an ideal package deal and I am simply having fun with the second.
“I’m not that occupied with maintaining in contact with each stat. However after all, it’s an incredible season and naturally I am very proud of successful so many races.”
Race winner Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing
Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool
Vettel insisted he has no regrets about dropping the document that he shared with shut good friend and mentor Schumacher.
“No, I imply each time it is a bit completely different,” he mentioned. “I believe it is nice for the staff. I nonetheless know some folks there, so I am actually completely happy for them and for Max.
“Properly achieved. I believe he is had a hell of a season, so hopefully he will get 16 on the finish of the 12 months! Every part else might be a disappointment, no?”
The Aston Martin driver agreed that sustaining such a degree of success isn’t as simple as it would look from the surface.
“No, it is not,” he mentioned. “However clearly I believe that they had a momentum from final 12 months, the automobile this 12 months is unbelievable. They received races although they have been heavier than everyone else.
“I believe by now they’ve most likely received the load out. So the automobile is there, however Max is doing an incredible job as effectively.”
Sebastian Vettel, Pink Bull RB9 Renault celebrates victory with donuts
Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Pictures
A few of Verstappen’s principal rivals praised his success, whereas stressing that they wish to make life tougher for him subsequent 12 months.
“We all know how sturdy Max is and Pink Bull have simply achieved a extremely nice job,” mentioned George Russell.
“You have seen previously with groups being so dominant. While you look again to Lewis [Hamilton] and Nico [Rosberg], they have been successful each single race, and had Lewis had a unique staff mate in that period maybe he would have been successful each race, as Max is doing.
“However Max is simply doing a extremely wonderful job week in, week out, Pink Bull are doing an ideal job. And we hope we will shut that hole additional subsequent 12 months.”
Carlos Sainz admitted he hadn’t anticipated Verstappen to be so dominant after Ferrari’s sturdy begin to the 12 months.
“No, no, you by no means anticipate that, particularly when you could have an excellent automobile originally,” he mentioned.
“I want that I’d have felt a bit extra snug originally of the season to make issues additionally a bit extra sophisticated for Max, and along with Charles [Leclerc], to place a bit extra of a struggle.
“However Max has had an incredible season, he deserves it. I believe they’re dominant now, I believe now the Pink Bull is beginning to be a dominant automobile, however originally of the season for positive not, and there may be the place he did an amazing job.
“My goal is subsequent 12 months to begin on the degree that I’m now, which is a fairly respectable degree, and make issues extra sophisticated to Max.”