Max realistic ahead of Hungarian GP: 'We're not yet the dominant team'

Published on 03 August 2019 by Stefan Meens

After Friday free practice, Max Verstappen spoke to Ziggo Sport’s Olav Mol for the Dutch Formula 1 Café program. They reflected on the first day of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Do you have a different mindset now you’ve won two out of the last three Grands Prix?
Max: “No, that would be wrong. You always have to have confidence and have belief and deliver at the same level. The way you approach a weekend should not make a difference. If I had been third three times in a row, I would start the weekend exactly the same. We won the last race but that doesn’t give you any guarantees for this weekend.”

Van you challenge for the championship?
“It all worked well in Hockenheim but we have to remain realistic about the fact that we’re still not the dominant team, so we have to keep working. It’s still a big gap so I try to just drive a good race every weekend. To suggest we can fight for the title, I don’t think so. If we keep performing like this, we will be at the front though.”

In Hockenheim, you qualified in second. Are you happy with that?
“Something broke off the floor between Q1 and Q2 so we lost quite a bit of performance. We really should’ve been in front of Lewis because we were really quick on Saturday morning compared to the Mercedes. Without their issues, Ferrari should have taken pole. So I wasn’t fully happy but you can’t complain when you start second because everybody will moan about you. But I obviously knew about the floor damage.”

Are you thinking of qualifying on the medium tyres in Q2?
“There is a speed difference between the medium and soft compound at the Hungaroring but I think we have enough leeway to get trough Q2 on the medium tyre."

Which three races can you win this year?
“Singapore and Mexico. We always do well at those circuits. Maybe Hungary, but it’s not on top of the list of places where I think we’re real contenders. Maybe Brazil, who knows.”

What’s your take on expanding the calendar to 22 races?
“I’m against it. There’s a limit. As a driver you’re really busy with commitments outside the Grands Prix weekends so I think it would be too much. Especially for the mechanics too. They might as well file for divorce because they’ll hardly ever be at home. They’re at the track before us and they leave after us, so for them it’s even more extreme. I understand more income can be generated but there has to be a limit and a good balance.”

Hungarian GP contest: win an orange RBR 33 t-shirt and Verstappen beach towel