Verstappen: Melbourne not too kind to us over the years

Max Verstappen is yet to win a race in Melbourne, his best result being a third place back in 2019, but hopes to change that this time around at Albert Park.

In 2022, Verstappen had a good chance of winning a race in Melbourne, but a fuel leak on his RB18 meant he could not finish the race.

The Dutchman will also be looking to set things straight after Jeddah, where he was on the receiving end from teammate Sergio Perez, who dominated the race in the Gulf Kingdom, Verstappen unable to take the fight to him during the race starting from 15th after a drive shaft failure during qualifying not really the cause as a Safety Car reset the race putting the #1 Red Bull behind the #11 car at the restart. #11 was simply better.

Speaking in Red Bull‘s race preview, Verstappen said: “I’m looking forward to going to Australia again, it’s always nice to be there and experience Melbourne a little, although from a racing point of view, it is not one that has been too kind to us over the years.

“The track is great with some high-speed corners, and one I enjoy driving so hopefully we can have a good race this weekend. We just need it to be straightforward and consistent. We haven’t won there as a Team since 2011, so let’s see what we can do,” he added.

Perez on a high

Perez, on the other hand, arrives in Melbourne on a high, having won the previous race in Jeddah, which means he sits only one point his teammate in the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, and is looking to maintain the momentum for the rest of the season, something he didn’t manage in 2022.

“I was massively proud of the Team and our performance in Jeddah,” Perez said. “I had a complete weekend and that was one of my aims this season, to be consistent across all three days.

“But we are only two races into the season and have to keep pushing to make sure we continue this great start to the season,” he pointed out.

“Bahrain and Saudi are very different tracks to each other and Australia will be another challenge for us and this car. We have great pace and are working so hard together to make sure our reliability is there too.

“It’s been a fun start to 2023 but that won’t matter if we don’t maintain our high level,” the Mexican concluded.