Max ahead of sprint weekend in Sao Paolo: 'It makes it more difficult'
Published on 02 November 2023 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen is in Sao Paulo for round twenty of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship.
Max, before we talk about this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the collaboration between Oracle Red Bull Sim Racing and Team Redline. “I have my own esports team, Team Readline, and of course Red Bull has an esports team, so we’re collaborating on a couple of platforms”, says Max. “The main one is F1 Esports for which Team Redline will take on the performance side of things. We both have great drivers in our teams so to join forces is great. Good things are coming.”
Moving back to the current F1 season. Despite your dominance, what have you learned? “A lot of different things, every weekend. Sometimes the car is quick from the start and you don’t need to change much. Other times it’s more challenging to get it right. Every weekend is different.”
With sixteen Grand Prix victories this year, you are experiencing an extraordinary season. What do you expect from this weekend’s event? “Last year, we didn’t have a good race weekend. The sprint format makes it difficult to get things right. We only have one practice session to make sure we’re in better shape this year. The tyre degradation is fairly high and the set-up required for the slower corners isn’t one of our car’s strengths. The circuit doesn’t have many corners, but the middle part is pretty technical. I enjoy it and the support from the passionate fans is always amazing. Hopefully we have a good weekend.”
Your first Brazilian Grand Prix was back in 2015. What are some of the highlights of the last nine years? “The rain race in 2016 was a great memory. It was in typical Brazilian fashion with changing weather conditions that made that race special. Of course, my first win here was amazing. But I could’ve had one more”, smiles Max, referring to the tangle in 2018 between himself and backmarker Esteban Ocon, which meant the current world champion lost the lead.