“Yeah, I think I learned a lot from the race in Baku, how to do some things with the car, how to set it up,” he explained.
“Of course, I didn’t win that race in Baku but actually I really tried a lot of stuff and different tools in the car. That’s why throughout the race it was a little bit inconsistent, but at one point, I got into a good rhythm with what I found. But then I damaged my tyres a bit too much. But it was like ‘OK, that’s quite interesting for the next races’. And I basically implemented that, and it has helped me on every track.”
Whilst the huge advantage of Red Bull’s RB19 car has provided Verstappen with many straightforward drives to victory in 2023, the Dutchman was made to work to score his ninth straight win at Zandvoort.
A delay in stopping for Intermediate tyres when the rain arrived at the start of Sunday’s race saw Verstappen drop to fourth, over 10s behind Perez, who had inherited the lead after pitting at the end of the first lap.
However, the Dutchman reeled Perez in by over four seconds in one lap, eventually taking the lead when he was the first Red Bull driver to return to slicks.
Having survived a late deluge and a stoppage to triumph on home soil, Verstappen believes the Dutch GP demonstrated that his streak has not simply been down to possessing the fastest car.
“Even if you have the best car, and I think there have been more dominant cars in the past than what we have at the moment, and they haven’t been able to do so, to win nine in a row, whatever, the consecutive wins we have as a team, so it is hard, and especially like today, it’s easy to make a wrong call or even drop it yourself in the gravel or whatever,” he highlighted. “It’s never that straightforward, unfortunately.”
Verstappen now shares the record with ex-Red Bull World Champion Sebastian Vettel and will have the opportunity to become the first F1 driver in history to win 10 successive races at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend.