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Max ahead of Zandvoort: 'A win would be special'

Published on 24 August 2023 by Stefan Meens

Formula 1 is back after the summer break with the Dutch Grand Prix scheduled this weekend. Reigning champion Max Verstappen spoke with the media in a rainy Zandvoort paddock, previewing his home event.

The relaxed Dutchman returns to driving dutiesafter a few weeks off. “That break was nice. I have spent time with family and friends and was able to relax.”

Kicking of the second half of the F1 season at the Dutch Grand Prix is special for Max. “It’s great to have a race here in Zandvoort. For me there’s no extra pressure, I just enjoy the fact that we get to have a Grand Prix in the Netherlands. That’s something no one thought was possible ten years ago. It’s amazing and I hope it’ll continue for many more years. It’s amazing to be here and see all the fans. The circuit is amazing to drive. It all makes for a great weekend.”

Thinking of his goals and ambitions for his home race, Max said: “We hope to maintain our performance level, but you never know how things work out after a break. The predicted weather can also throw up surprises. We have a fast car, but we need to put a whole weekend together. Every race we try to optimise our package and it’s no secret we’re aiming for a win here. That would be special.”

Asked if he preferred a dominant win or a victory following a battle for first, the double champion said: “Of course I’d rather have a perfect race each time, but it’s rare to have such a season in your career. If the other teams close up and we have more of a battle, that’s fine with me too. Of course, it’s more relaxed to win races comfortably.”

Despite possible rain forecast for this weekend’s Grand Prix, Max said with a smile: “Yes, that would make it slippery, but you just have to adapt. The weather is different compared to the previous two years, but maybe we were spoiled at that time of the year. If it rains, it’s the same for everyone.”

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