ADVERTISEMENT
Verstappen: Seventeen, nineteen, I don't know!

Verstappen: Seventeen, nineteen, I don’t know!

Verstappen: Seventeen, nineteen, I don't know!

Max Verstappen gave an ominous signal to all his rivals that he won’t be slowing down after clinching his 16th win in the 2023 Formula 1 season on Sunday in Mexico, win 17 and more on the way.

Even though he didn’t start from pole in the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, Verstappen surged into the lead at the start, and then left his rivals in his dust once again on the race restart after the Red flag that came out due to Kevin Magnussen’s crash.

It was Verstappen’s 16th win this year, as he now broke his own record of 15 wins per season from 2022 which prompted Jenson Button to aske him at the end of his parc ferme interview: “So what’s in store for Max now? You must have another goal set?”

ADVERTISEMENT

The Dutchman simply responded: “17, 19, I don’t know!”

Such is Verstappen’s confidence these days that he looks to win ever race no matter where he starts, and in Mexico, he finished the race over 13 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton in a show of utter dominance.

Red Bull were planning to buck the trend of a one-stop-race on Sunday and go for a two-stopper, as Verstappen was building a gap to Charles Leclerc after his first pitstop – earlier than others – enough for him to stop again and not relinquish his lead, but the Red flag meant we couldn’t see that happen.

“The pace of the car was very good today, we were planning to do a different strategy to everyone else but unfortunately we couldn’t show that with the red flag,” Verstappen said in Red Bull‘s race report.

“Nevertheless, we were very strong on the hard tyres at the end. To win 16 races in a season is something I never thought would be possible, this season has been unbelievable,” he added.

Sergio Perez crashed out of his home race after an overoptimistic lunge on Leclerc at the start into the outside of Turn 1, but Verstappen can related to what his teammate did.

He said: “I understand from Checo’s side why he went for it at the beginning, it would have been incredible for him to be on the podium at his home race here in Mexico.

“Thankfully the crowd stayed, and they’ve been amazing all weekend, I’ve felt so welcome here as I always do. For now, my head is already on to the next race, let’s see what we can do in Brazil,” Verstappen concluded.

Perez: If you don’t go for it what’s the point

perez crash mexico city gp f1

A dejected Perez added: “I had a tremendous start, probably my best of the year, the gap was there and if you don’t go for it what’s the point in being here.

“I went for it and to be honest I wasn’t expecting Charles to brake as late as he did and simply, there was not room for three cars. I wanted this victory badly and I knew it was risky but if it had worked, I would have ended up in the lead.

“At your home grand prix, after being on the podium twice you want to give it your all and I went totally for it, I really wanted the win today and I massively tried to get that.

“I go home really sad because of the result but proud of myself and my Team that we left it all out there, this is just racing, and this is how the sport goes sometimes,” the Mexican concluded.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner summed up his team’s Mexican weekend, he said: “A race of contrasting fortunes.

“Another amazing race by Max today, total and utter dominance, but for Checo, an absolutely gutting home race. He had a rocket ship launch of a start and had so much momentum going into that first corner. You can’t blame him for going for it to try and take the lead at his home race, but ultimately, three does not go into one and it was a crushing blow to see him out.

“Dietrich Mateschitz always used to say, ‘no risk, no fun’,” Horner added, “and we gave it our all from the very beginning. Both cars started incredibly well. Our starts haven’t been our strongest this year, there has been a variance to them.

“The control guys did a great job today. Great starts with Checo and Max in the first run and then obviously the restart and Max getting that that blinder as well,” the Briton concluded.