Victory for Max Verstappen at the Dutch GP on Sunday will see him equal another record, this time it’s Sebastian Vettel’s most consecutive set in 2013; watch the Dutch GP from 12.30pm live on Sky Sports F1, with lights out at 2pm at Zandvoort
By Nigel Chiu
Last Updated: 26/08/23 6:10pm
Max Verstappen has revealed Sebastian Vettel texted him earlier this season that the Red Bull driver would break his record of consecutive Formula 1 wins.
Victory for Verstappen on Sunday at the Dutch Grand Prix will see him equal Vettel’s record of nine consecutive wins from 2013.
Vettel also achieved the feat with Red Bull but would have his record broken if Verstappen triumphs at Zandvoort and next week at Monza.
“I think at five wins in a row or something, Seb texted me and said ‘well done, keep it up’ and something like ‘you’re going to do it’. Nine in a row is something very impressive and I never thought I would be on eight,” said Verstappen.
“It’s not something I have constantly like ‘I need to do this. I need to do this’. I’m not in this sport to try and break records. I’m just here to win in the moment.”
Verstappen will start from pole position alongside Lando Norris for the second time this season, after the pair were on the front row at Silverstone.
On that occasion, Norris led the opening part of the race but Verstappen cruised by once he had DRS and got into a rhythm.
The McLaren driver, who is yet to win his maiden F1 race, says Verstappen is not unbeatable but it will be very difficult to overcome the Dutchman.
“There’s been plenty of times it’s been super, super close, whether Max has made a mistake and therefore it’s close, or not,” said Norris.
“There’s two differences in qualifying and the race. In the race, I think we have no chance unless he gets unlucky or something happens.
“He’s just got a very good driver in a good car and and he’s doing the job he needs to do, so full respect to that. But there’s always a chance on a day like today when you can make a mistake and sadly he doesn’t.
“It can happen to everyone and it can still happen to him, so there’s a time and a place and we are still waiting. Everyone’s waiting for it to happen.”
Norris added: “I can probably challenge for two laps and then he will drive away! There’s quite a bit of tyre degradation here and that’s not our forte let’s say when it comes into play. We struggle in certain corners.
“But we have improved the car quite a bit since Friday, so I want to be a bit more hopeful. I’m not going to say I’m not going to try, it’s just Max is on another level when it comes to tyre degradation and race pace.”
Russell expecting battle with Norris
George Russell had his best qualifying since the Australian Grand Prix in early April, with third place at Zandvoort.
Russell has largely been on the backfoot compared to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was knocked out in Q2 and will start in 13th, and also concedes fighting for the win is unlikely.
George Russell, who will start third added: “Max and Red Bull have done an amazing job at the moment, but I think we just need to turn it up a little bit more, apply a little bit more pressure.
“I think they have got a really nice buffer at the moment and when you’re in that rhythm, in that groove, you can afford to make a small mistake and still be in a really great spot.
“There’s a lot less pressure than when you know you make a small mistake, it’s going to cost you a couple of positions, so we are going to keep on working and, for sure, they are the guys to beat at the moment.
“But we just need to focus on ourselves, keep looking in the mirror and just seeing where we can improve. We’ll get there.
He continued: “I think it’s going to be a good race. A lot of tyre degradation, so it gives you a few opportunities with the strategy. I don’t think we will have the pace to fight with Max, he’s a bit of a league of his own at the moment.
“But I’m confident Lando and I can have a good fight. Great to see Alex [Albon] in there in P4. He will probably be in the mix of beginning of the race and then we will have to see progress the threat from Checo [Sergio Perez].”
Sky Sports F1’s live Dutch GP schedule
SUNDAY AUGUST 27
8.55am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Dutch GP build-up
2pm: THE DUTCH GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag: Dutch GP reaction
5.30pm: Dutch GP highlights