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Verstappen: Some races you have to drive closer to 100%

Verstappen: Some races you have to drive closer to 100%

Verstappen: Some races you have to drive closer to 100%

Max Verstappen admitted that with the pressure increasing from his rivals, there will be races where he has to drive closer to 100%.

The reigning Formula 1 Champion has had to work hard for his victories recently, with McLaren and Ferrari breathing down Red Bull’s neck recently, as Mercedes also challenged them in Canada.

And while Verstappen has been winning with ease since 2022, and especially in 2023, his race wins at Imola and then the latest in Canada were hard grafted victories in which he had to bring his A game.

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Speaking to the media in Barcelona on Thursday, including GrandPrix247, Verstappen was asked whether he is now making the difference when the RB20 is not working well.

He responded: “I think there were races that you maybe you’re bit more under pressure. So you have to drive closer to 100% all the time. I think that’s normal. I mean, I’ve done that. But, teams are getting close. Some races last year, you didn’t need to go.”

Asked whether he preferred to be leading by a huge margin to racing while always looking over his shoulder like the Canadian GP recently, Verstappen said: “Well, I enjoyed Montreal as well, every single time.

“At the same time, I also really enjoy really getting everything out of the car myself and winning by 20 seconds, but I’m not afraid of competition as well. So for me, it doesn’t matter – here and there – having one of these races.”

Verstappen: I’m not here because of other people’s opinions

With a driver dominating in F1 with a great car, there are always those who claim it is the driver and not the car. That was said of Sebastian Vettel when he dominated with Red Bull in 2010-2013 as well as Lewis Hamilton in his glory days with Mercedes.

Verstappen was also hit with such claims when he started his dominance in 2022, but with Sergio Perez struggling recently with the RB20, the Dutchman has been always fighting at the sharp end for wins and poles.

This has proven the obvious, and that is how great a driver Verstappen is, but he is not bothered by what people say about him, he said: “I’m not here because of other people’s opinions.

“I know what I can do, and the team knows what I can do. So I just focus on on my performance. I know that, when we are under pressure, we can do a good job, but of course, we’re not robots, you know? People make mistakes, I make mistakes, as well.

“But you try to minimize those kinds of mistakes throughout the year, especially when you are in a tight battle with a lot of teams where you constantly need to score points,” Verstappen concluded.

(Reporting by Agnes Carlier from Barcelona)