[Verstappen: “You’re not a real fan” if you don’t appreciate Red Bull F1 dominance
Verstappen’s and Red Bull’s run of 10 consecutive victories ended in Singapore, when the team had an off weekend, and the Dutchman could finish only fifth.
Prior to Carlos Sainz’s victory there had been a lot of talk about Verstappen’s run of success being bad for the sport and TV viewership, with Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei also expressing such sentiments.
Asked by Motorsport.com in Suzuka if he could see a bigger picture of Sainz’s win being good for F1, Verstappen made it clear that he didn’t agree.
“Honestly, I have zero interest in that,” he said. “For me, it was just we got beaten, in a very clear way. I don’t think about what is good for F1.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily bad what was happening to F1, because we were just better than everyone else. And if people can’t appreciate that, then you’re not a real fan. But yeah, that’s how it goes.
“That’s why I was also super relaxed about it because we didn’t perform. Other people did a better job than us, then of course they deserved to win. They shouldn’t win because people say it’s boring that we are winning.”
Asked about his feelings after missing out in Singapore, he said: “No emotion. I mean, we stopped winning for one race. Shit happens.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“We won 10 in a row before that. Of course, I would have liked to win there as well. But I also know that there is always going to be a day you have that weekend where you’re not winning, or things go wrong.
“And yeah, unfortunately, it was that weekend, but we just move on, and try again.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has made it clear that the Milton Keynes team has switched its full R&D focus to its 2024 car, creating the potential for rivals to close the gap in the last part of the season.
However, Verstappen is convinced that he can win all the remaining races.
“The regulations are not really changing that much,” said the Dutchman. “Of course, we had our things already set out in terms of upgrades to stuff.
“But I still think that from now onwards, we can win every single race, even with people bringing upgrades and stuff. It’s normal, when some people had a bit of a tough start to the year they want to learn more, and they keep on developing for a longer period of time.
“I think that’s also what we’ve done in the past. And then maybe here and there they might have that opportunity of winning, but I still think that our car is capable of winning every race.”
Asked if he was surprised that other teams haven’t closed the gap significantly as the season has gone on, he said: “I was more surprised at the start. We all I think at the team expected it to be very close. And it wasn’t in the beginning.
“So then, of course, throughout the year, I think it’s quite a normal thing that people start looking around and start developing their own ideas, and start to get closer. But for me, it was more surprising at the start.”