MONZA, ITALY - AUGUST 31: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks to the media in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on August 31, 2023 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202308310376 // Usage for editorial use only //

Verstappen: I just drive the car the fastest way possible

MONZA, ITALY - AUGUST 31: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks to the media in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on August 31, 2023 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202308310376 // Usage for editorial use only //

Formula 1 championship leader and soon-to-be triple World Champion, Max Verstappen dismissed the suggestion that his Red Bull cars are designed to suit his driving style more than the teammates he has “destroyed”.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told reporters at last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix that he struggled to understand the single-lap gap between Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez.

Unchallenged by his teammate Perez with the other best car at his disposal, Verstappen is heading for his third world title and leads his team, also his closest rival, by a hefty 138 points after 13 races.

“We’ve seen that Max has destroyed every single teammate that was with him,” said Wolff after Verstappen qualified on pole position with a lap 1.313 seconds faster than Perez.

“Whether or not it’s his ability to create a car around himself that is just very tricky to control, but fast when you can, and that creates those gaps. But 1.3?” questioned Wolff.

Max: I adapt to what I need for the car to go quick

SPA, BELGIUM - JULY 28: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Third placed qualifier Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing talk in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on July 28, 2023 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Verstappen, chasing a record 10th win in a row in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, dismissed the comments when asked about them at Monza: “I just drive the car the fastest way possible. I’m not there to tell the guys to give me more front end because that’s how I like it.

“I just say: Design me the fastest car and I’ll drive around that. Because every single year, every car drives a little bit different. People ask: What is your driving style? My driving style is not something particular. I adapt to what I need for the car to go quick.”

Red Bull have won every race this season and 14 in a row in total. Perez has won twice this year. Verstappen said he just trying to do the best he could and win as much as possible while he had the opportunity, rather than being driven by records.

“It’s for sure a very enjoyable time to be driving the car. But every single weekend there are always a lot of things that come up, and you have to optimise. It’s never a straightforward weekend,” ventured Verstappen. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)