Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has always seemed to maintain that he has little interest in records, but this public persona has been busted by Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko.
Verstappen arrived in the sport at the age of 17 and although it has taken him a few years to reach the summit of the drivers’ standings, the Dutchman’s skill was never in doubt.
Many will say the signs of his dominance today spring from his first race for Red Bull at the age of 18, when he surprised the entire F1 community by claiming a race win.
He now looks odds-on to win a third world championship, having registered seven wins in the first nine races of the season.
He has broken a number of records en route this phenomenal run, but the 25-year-old would have you believe that it all means very little to him.
Not only does he have the most race wins in a season, he also has the most points in a season, is the youngest driver to win a GP and recently overtook Ayrton Senna’s GP win record.
Verstappen publicly maintains that he doesn’t keep track of such things and that his only focus is on winning a race. However, this persona is hypocritical, according to Marko.
Marko was speaking with Motorsport Netherlands and explained how he knows that Max is very much aware of the records he is breaking.
“Max always says that he does not care about records. But if you ask him, for example, who has the most poles and how many those are, then he knows it right away,” Marko said.
Verstappen has been extremely dominant this season as well.
While it can be argued that Red Bull has put together a car that is far superior to any of its rivals, Verstappen is comfortably ahead of teammate Perez in the same machinery.
Verstappen’s current points tally is so big that he already has more than the P2 in constructors’ standings and bottom six teams combined. Bear in mind that a constructors’ team features points of both its drivers, making his record in the first nine races exceptional.
Marko hopes that Verstappen can continue in this rich vein of form.
“Of course, we want to win as many races as possible again this year, but first let’s secure the championship. That is the most important thing.”
It looks highly likely even at this stage of the season that Verstappen will romp to a third successive world championship, thereby equalling Ayrton Senna’s record once again.
With Red Bull so far ahead of the rest of the field, it will not be wrong to assume that the Dutchman could go on to third position in all time wins at some point next season.
Hopefully he lets the public know that he is as aware of this fact as them.