Domenicali has 'very good relationship' with Verstappen

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing (Right) receives the Pirelli Pole Position Award from Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO. 22.04.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, Qualifying Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images
© XPB 

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali insists that he has a very good relationship with reigning champion Max verstappen, despite the Red Bull driver's tendency to speak his often contrary and controversial mind about high profile issues in the sport.

Verstappen has been critical of some recent developments, hinting that the increasingly packed schedule and constant tweaks to the sprint race format might end up driving him out of the sport prematurely.

That's not made Domenicali's job any easier, but he insists that he gets on well with the driver and that the back and forth between them is "part of the game", adding that the disagreements did not harm the sport in any way.

"No, honestly, I'm not concerned at all because it would be wrong to not cover the personality of the driver," Domenicali told Beyond the Grid host Tom Clarkson in the most recent podcast.

"You can have different opinions, but at the end of the day, we have to take responsibility of having the bigger picture," he continued.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. 04.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images

"You need to consider that every one of us has a bigger role to play and the growth of the sport, the growth of this business, is connected to this vision sometimes.

"Our sport is the leader on how we engage our heroes that are the 20 drivers in the sport. No other platform is engaging with the fans, or with the sponsors, or with the media, or with everyone, so close with the race.

"It's a great recognition on how everyone is involved in the growth of the sport," he continued.

"I'm not worried because I think that I have a very good relationship in this case with Max. We talk and I would never interfere in the choice of his future.

"But if there is something that for the benefit of the sport I have to take, and Max doesn't like, I will try to explain. If he doesn't agree, it's okay. That's part of the game."

Last weekend saw Verstappen equal the total tally of Grand Prix race wins of one of the sport's all-time icons, Ayrton Senna. All 41 victories have been with Red Bull, making him the team's most successful driver since its bow in the 2005 Australian GP.

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO. 02.06.2023 Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Practice Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

At just 25 years of age, Verstappen is already well on his way to winning a third championship.

With Red Bull's dominance threatening to result in a clean-sweep of 22 wins across the season, Domenicali could only stand and admire what the Dutch driver had been able to achieve.

"I would say the numbers are speaking by themself," he said. "Of course he has an incredible car that highlights his value, but for sure he is one of the best drivers ever. There's no doubt.

"I don't like to compare drivers of different generations because things are different, but in terms of driving skills, in terms of approach to the races, it's impressive."

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