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Max Verstappen Gives Insight Into His Mentality After Dominating the Chinese GP – “I Am My Own Opponent”

Aishwary Gaonkar

Max Verstappen Gives Insight Into His Mentality After Dominating the Chinese GP - “I Am My Own Opponent”

Max Verstappen has rewritten the definitions of dominance in F1 since 2022. He has registered 38 race wins, 16 poles, and 42 podiums since the ground effect regulations came into effect that year. The Dutchman is on another level with his driving and 2023 perhaps saw the peak level of his dominance. Coming into 2024, Verstappen has encountered a few setbacks, with a DNF in Australia already interrupting his winning streak. However, with consecutive wins in Japan and China, the three-time champion is back to his dominant best. After taking his maiden Chinese GP win, Verstappen elaborated on his winning mentality that fuels his relentless success.

According to FormulaPassion, the 26-year-old said, “Nobody is perfect, but I had a good weekend. What if I am my own adversary [opponent]? Yes, but the point is that I always have a competition with myself, that’s how I grew up and that’s what my father always told me: ‘You always have to look at yourself and what you have to do better.'”

Max’s father, Jos Verstappen, has played a huge role in grooming his son to become a champion racer. Max has experienced Jos’s tough parenting, which shaped his personality and character, and imbibed this relentless mentality. So, this mentality of constantly wanting to improve himself helps the young Dutchman to not get complacent after his wins.

Max implemented the same at the Chinese GP as well. While he was looking comfortable with a decent advantage after his sprint race win, he asked the team to make some changes before the Grand Prix qualifying. This change of setup on Saturday helped Verstappen to go even faster on Sunday and make his “life easier”.

With four wins in five races, the three-time champion is well on course to defend his title again this year. Many had expected before the season that Verstappen and Red Bull would sweep this season and win every race. However, that will not happen and even repeating their 2023 level of dominance may be difficult.

Can anyone challenge Max Verstappen this year?

Carlos Sainz’s win in Australia is proof that rival teams have closed the gap to Red Bull relative to last season. Even in the other four races, Max Verstappen’s margin of victory has not been as ominous as 2023.

For instance, Lando Norris finished 13 seconds behind Verstappen’s RB20 in Shanghai. Relatively, this margin was about 25-30 seconds for various races last year.

So, despite the chatter of Red Bull dominating relentlessly with 1-2 finishes this year, the competitive reality is much different. Ferrari and McLaren seem more likely to catch up and compete with the Austrian outfit this season.

As a result, it is not surprising that Verstappen is not willing to get complacent and looks to keep improving. Even Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s technical mastermind, is wary of rival teams taking steps forward to cut back at their advantage.

Newey mentioned how the field is getting “tighter” and teams like Ferrari or McLaren could “overtake” Red Bull in 2025. The 65-year-old designer cited that the Milton Keynes outfit’s dominance could fade away and change.

Newey’s fears may come true in the upcoming races in Miami or Imola. McLaren and Ferrari will be bringing upgrades to these two weekends. So, if these upgrades work well for them, these two teams have the ability to match and challenge Red Bull for the win.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Aishwary Gaonkar

Aishwary Gaonkar


Aishwary Gaonkar is the F1 Editor at The SportsRush. Having written over 757 articles about different aspects of the sport, Aishwary passionately likes to dive deep into the intricacies of the on-track events. He has been an avid F1 fan since the 2011 season, amid Sebastian Vettel's dominance. Besides the 4-time champion, he also likes Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Among the current drivers, he thinks Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri have championship-winning caliber. Longing for a Ferrari world championship, Aishwary is also a fan of Aston Martin's underdog story and their bid to win the F1 championship. Other than F1, he follows tennis and cricket too.

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