Verstappen: ‘If I only win 10 races in 2024 that’s fine’

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Max Verstappen's appetite for victory is insatiable, like a bottomless pit that never seems to get filled.

But the Red Bull driver, fresh off a record-breaking 19 race wins in 2023, would be content with just 10 victories in 2024, as long as it means he's neck-and-neck in the championship battle.

Verstappen's dominance in 2023 was like a freight train running over his opponents.

He set numerous records that may never be broken, including the most race wins in a season (19), the highest win percentage (86.36%), beating a 71-year-old record set by Alberto Ascari, the most consecutive race wins (10), and the most laps led (1003).

While the Dutchman may be more concerned with the overall championship picture than individual race wins, his hunger for success is undeniable.

He's like a hungry bear who's just discovered a honeypot – he's not going to stop until he's devoured every last drop.

“Realistically, it can’t be much better than what we have achieved,” said Verstappen at last week’s FIA prize-giving in Baku.

“It’s not always about trying to win 20 races, it’s also about trying to find improvements within yourself, within the car.

“If that means next year we have improved the car, and we can fight for the championship again, but if you only win 10 races, that’s also fine.

“The competition around us (this year) was quite up and down – one weekend this team, then another week it was another team.

“I expect next year people will have learned a lot with these new regulations, and that, naturally, it will be quite a bit closer.”

Red Bull’s RB19 was a truly exceptional car, and one that will go down in F1 history as one of Grand Prix racing’s most dominant designs. It’s unlikely that any team will be able to replicate its success any time soon.

However, Red Bull’s engineering department, led by legendary design guru Adrian Newey will certainly try its best to produce a car that will be at least as good as its predecessor.

“You can talk about percentages or whatever, but there are always things we can do better. We know that,” added Verstappen.

“Of course, the car has been very, very dominant, but we’ve also seen a few, let’s say, weaknesses in the car, so I think we can do better, and that’s what we are working on for next year.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is expecting his outfit’s rivals to raise their game in 2024. But boosting performance alone won’t cut it; without consistency – one of Red Bull’s major strengths in 2023 – challenges will amount to isolated flashes of brilliance.

“The thing that surprised us was that we were able to remain pretty consistent,” said Horner.

“At different stages of the year, there were different cars, different teams that were emerging. Aston Martin started the season very strongly, McLaren finished the season very strongly, Ferrari was there at certain races, and Mercedes likewise.

“So it was moving around quite a lot behind us, but the one thing we were able to control was our own performance and the consistency that we achieved.

“Of course, you’re always learning in this business. I think with stable regulations, we know the field will converge. We saw that at different points during the past year.

“For us, we have to improve, we have to keep evolving, and I think all aspects of our RB19 are being looked at to evolve into RB20.

“Hopefully, it will make it even stronger, because I’m sure that’s what our competitors will be looking to do.”

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