Max Verstappen could write another page of history by winning the Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix on Sunday.
He could claim his 42nd career victory this weekend at the Spielberg circuit, in the backyard of the Red Bull team, which would allow him to surpass Brazilian Ayrton Senna for fifth place among the most successful drivers in history. of the queen series of motorsport.
Red Bull have won each of the first eight races this season, and Verstappen has climbed to the top step of the podium four times in the last six events. The 25-year-old Dutchman had finished second, behind team-mate Sergio Perez, in the other two races.
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso, who has six podiums so far in 2023, couldn’t resist cracking a joke when asked how other teams could dream of securing a victory.
“If Red Bull wasn’t here, then it would be easier,” Alonso said Thursday.
Alonso, who scored the last of his 32 career victories 10 years ago, has been busy denying the notion that he managed to close the gap behind Red Bull at the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago . Verstappen, he recalled, still triumphed by 9.6 seconds at the finish line.
“In Barcelona, just two weeks before the Canadian Grand Prix, we were one minute behind him (Verstappen), explained the 41-year-old veteran. We will have to wait and see how we perform with different settings, on different tracks. »
Red Bull has now won 18 of the last 19 races in F1. The only driver to beat the Austrian team during that streak was George Russell, with Mercedes, at the Brazilian Grand Prix – the penultimate race of the last campaign.
“The gap is still deep,” admitted Russell. They dominate the series right now and they did a very good job (with their car). »
Red Bull is so comfortably in the lead that it can already think about developing its car for the 2024 season. Verstappen, however, refused to open the debate about Red Bull’s dominance.
“Life isn’t fair,” he said simply.
After the Austrian Grand Prix, there will be 13 more races left for Russell, Alonso and all the other drivers on the grid to put a stop to Verstappen’s streak – who scored a record 15 wins last season and may even top this brand this season.
Verstappen’s dominance, and his mount’s unrivaled speed, means he could very well join Alain Prost, third in F1 wins with 51, by the end of the campaign.
The top 3 are made up of Lewis Hamilton (103 wins), Michael Schumacher (91) and Sebastian Vettel (53).