Max in Mexico City: 'It's going to be close'
Published on 27 October 2023 by Stefan Meens
Ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, Max Verstappen reflected on his successful US GP last weekend in Austin as well previewing the upcoming event at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Despite scoring his fifteenth Grand Prix win of the season at the Circuit of the Americas last week, Max and Oracle Red Bull Racing faced stiff competition throughout the event. According to the triple world champion, the sprint format played a part as the teams and drivers had only one practice session to dial in the cars’ set-up. “We were probably too conservative with the set-up of the car, but I guess that’s better than the other way around.”
Nevertheless, Max was able to win Saturday's sprint from pole. Sunday’s race proved a bigger challenge with the RB19 suffering with braking issues. “I just didn’t have the right feeling in the brakes and the car felt a little bit different than normal. That makes it really difficult to be consistent and to look after the tyres, especially on a high speed track where tyre temps play a big role. We were quick on Saturday, but not on Sunday, despite only adjusting the brakes."
Looking ahead to the Mexican Grand Prix, Max explained: “I don’t think this circuit necessarily suits our car. There are a lot of slow corners and kerbs on which our car does not excel. I expect strong competition, especially over one lap. It will be close. Over a race distance I’m not sure; usually our race pace is strong.”
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez is unique due its location at high altitude and has been a successful hunting ground for Red Bull Racing. “The cars are different every year, and so are the car's characteristics. Just because we were quick in the past, doesn’t mean we will be this year. There are new regulations and our car performs a bit different compared to last year. Initially it looked like our power-unit gave us an advantage at higher altitudes, but it looks like most of the other power-units have caught up on this front.”