Red Bull may have dominated the 2023 Formula 1 season but Max Verstappen is convinced they can make significant improvements to this year’s car.Yas Marina having won 20 of the previous 21 races. But Verstappen, who has taken 18 of those victories, says “of course there are” areas the team can improve its RB19.
“Look at our race weekend in Singapore,” said Verstappen, referring to Red Bull’s only defeat of the season so far, where both he and team mate Sergio Perez failed to reach Q3.
“In general on street circuits I think we are a struggling a bit more, like in Vegas also,” he continued. “So low speed [performance] is definitely not our strongest point in the car. Bumps and kerbs as well. So that’s definitely a big area where we can improve.”
Some of Red Bull’s rivals have made significant gains this year, notably Ferrari and McLaren. Red Bull spent much of 2023 operating within a tight restriction on their aerodynamic development, partly under the rules as a result of their 2022 championship win, and partly as a punishment for exceeding F1’s cost cap in 2021.
Verstappen said “it’s difficult to tell” how much progress their rivals will have to make in order to get on terms with them next year. “But of course we are also working on our car to try and make it better.
“I think we know our weaknesses as well in the car and that’s what we will try to work on plus of course trying to make our strengths of course even stronger.”
If he concludes his season with another win this weekend, Verstappen will overtake Sebastian Vettel as the third most successful F1 driver of all time in terms of total victories.
“It’s quite a crazy number,” Verstappen admitted. “But we’ve had a crazy, crazy year.
“It would of course be very nice but at the same time also I’m very focused on what’s ahead of me and hopefully also next year we have a competitive car again, we can really continue that momentum that we can win more races.”
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