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Max from Spielberg: 'I am always critical, also of myself'

Published on 27 June 2024 by Misha van der Kroon

On Thursday, Max Verstappen spoke with the international media at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, which is slowly starting to turn orange in the run-up to the Austrian Grand Prix. Thousands of fans from the Orange Army travelled to the track in Austria for the Grand Prix.

“It’s our home race, which is always nice, especially with so many fans supporting us here. It is nice that wherever you are on the circuit, you can see a lot of the action happening. This creates a special atmosphere, a bit like in a stadium. It certainly is one of the best circuits to watch and experience a race,” Max says. “This weekend is also a sprint weekend, so it is a bit more difficult for everyone to get everything right. That is a different challenge. We will try to do the best we can.”

The competition has come closer to Oracle Red Bull Racing. The three-time World Champion says: “We push as hard as we can to keep on improving. That is all we try to do now and in the coming races. Last year we had a very dominant year, and this year it is a bit more difficult. We have to work on the driveability of the car and how it handles bumps and curbs. We are working on this, but it cannot be solved immediately.”

It looks like you are able to make a difference right now. Max responds: “It feels good in the car, and I feel like I can get the most out of it. That shows in qualifying, I think. Because the other teams are so close to each other, you have to everything perfectly to achieve the best result. Of course I am always critical, also of myself, to see what can be improved. We have to improve the car, that will make it all a bit easier and then I don’t have to perform at 101% all of the time. Of the four last races, we have won three, but not because of the pace we had. It is never good enough, you always have to keep pushing.”

The Red Bull Ring has made adjustments to the track to ensure that there is less discussion about whether or not track limits are exceded. To this end, gravel traps have been added in turns nine and ten, and the kerbstones have been adjusted as well. “It is a great track and I always enjoy driving here. The high-speed corners are fun,” Max says. “I hope there will be less discussion about the track limits, because you now have to be very precise to not end up in the gravel. We will see. The track is also used by other categories in motorsports, so we need to look at what solution works best for everyone.”

When asked if his future lies with Red Bull, the Dutchman is clear: “Yes, I have a multi-year contract and am very happy where I am. The most important is that we have a competitive car for the future. It is now close with the other teams, and we are working hard on improving ourselves, for this year and for next year.”

Looking even further ahead: a new regulation and new engine formula will be introduced in 2026. How involved are you in the developments in that area by Red Bull Power Trains and Ford? Max answers: “I am of course not the one who designs the engine, but I think it is important to stay informed of the developments of this projects. The team has recruited many skilled people, and everyone is working hard to make the engine as good as possible. It is an exciting project for the entire team. From what I have been seeing at the factory, all the resources are in place to make it successful, and hopefully it will be.”

Contest GP Austria: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!