"To tie with Ayrton is something incredible," admits Verstappen


Sunday's Montreal win was not only Red Bull's 100th Grand Prix victory, but also Max Verstappen's 41st, putting him level with the legendary Ayrton Senna.

Unlike Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen is not really interested in statistics or records, but even he had to admit to feeling somewhat emotional as he equalled the Brazilian's 41 race wins.

Senna's last win came in 1993 in Australia, putting him second - to great rival Alain Prost - in the all-time list of winners. However, since then, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have eclipsed the Frenchman's 51 wins, while yesterday saw Verstappen equal Senna's 41, making the Dutchman the joint-fifth winningest driver in the history of the sport.

"I hate to compare different generations," admitted the Dutchman, "but, from my side, the only thing I can say is that when I was a little kid driving in go-karts, I was dreaming about being a Formula 1 driver, and I would've never imagined to win 41 grands prix.

"So, of course, to tie with Ayrton is something incredible," he admitted. "I'm proud of that, but of course, I hope it's not stopping here. I hope that we can keep on winning more races.

"I have won 41 of Red Bull's 100 wins, so we'll talk about maybe a new contract because of that," he laughed on the day he secured the Austrian team's 100th win.

"No honestly, it's a great achievement for the team. You know, we knew that this was the first opportunity to do so, and I'm happy that's done with a hundred. But again, I hope we win more than a hundred... so the new target's 200!"

Though from the outside, Verstappen enjoyed another Sunday afternoon cruise, leading from lights out to chequered flag, as far as the Dutchman was concerned the day was not without its drama.

"We changed the car on quite a bit compared to Friday, so I didn't really know how it would feel today, but luckily it went in the right direction. It was quite tough to keep the tyres in the right window. They were always running quite cold, so we had to push actually quite hard on the tyre.

"With low grip it was not the easiest and most straightforward. But everything went well. Just the hard tyre probably was a bit of a limitation because of the harder compound, so it was even harder to keep the tyre temps.

"I think we know that our car normally is very good when it's high deg compared to other cars. Today probably you would've needed a car which is a bit harder on the tyre to keep the temperatures in.

"It's probably not been our best race today," he insisted. "But still to win by nine seconds I think shows that we have a great car."

Having reported early in the race that he had hit a bird, it was subsequently confirmed that the dead bird was stuck in his brake duct.

"The biggest moment he had was hitting a bird that did half the race behind the front right brake duct," confirmed Christian Horner.

Asked if the bird had remained in the brake duct for the remainder of the race, he said: "Yes, the remains of the bird."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Montreal here.

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Published: 21/06/2023
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