Max Verstappen and Christian Horner talk about equalling Aryton Senna’s F1 wins, along with Red Bull’s 100 victories.
From his first ever win at Estoril in the rain in 1985 to his final win at Adelaide in 1993, Senna achieved 41 of them in his career. Six at Lotus and the rest with McLaren, with whom he also won three World Championships in 1988, 1990, and 1991.
A fantastic record and of course he could have achieved a lot more certainly. Now almost 30 years later, reigning World Champion Verstappen took his 41st win last weekend and also achieved Red Bull’s 100th win in F1.
He overtook Sebastian Vettel recently to be the Red Bull driver with most wins but they are not alone in the tally with the likes of Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez also on the list as it stands:
Max Verstappen – 41
Sebastian Vettel – 38
Mark Webber – 9
Daniel Ricciardo – 7
Sergio Perez – 5
Even though there are just 20 cars on the grid in recent era but the seasons are now 20 races plus where there are less retirements than before. During Senna’s halcyon period, the grids were a bit larger where some not even making past qualifying.
For Verstappen, it is a poignant moment as he heads towards a hat trick of titles. “I mean, I hate to compare different generations,” said the Dutchman when asked about equaling Senna. “From my side, the only thing I can say is that when I was a little kid driving in go-karting, I was dreaming about being a Formula 1 driver and I would have never imagined to win 41 Grands Prix”.
“So of course, to tie with Ayrton is something incredible. And of course, I’m proud of that, but of course, I hope it’s not stopping here. You know, I hope that we can keep on winning more races,” summed up Verstappen, who also hailed the 100 wins for Red Bull.
“I mean, I’ve won 41 of them,” said Verstappen with a smile. “But, yeah, we’ll talk about maybe a new contract because of that! No, honestly, it’s a great achievement for the team. We knew that this was the first opportunity, of course, to do so. And I’m happy that’s done. We’ve won 100. But again, I hope we win more than 100. So the new target is 200.”
Team boss Christian Horner who has been there from Day 1 credited Dietrich Matsechitz for giving them the opportunity to achieve this milestone. “When we first came into the sport, the ambition was to be competitive and to compete,” he said. “It was Dietrich’s vision, to bring Red Bull in as an entrant. And not just take part but try and be competitive”.
“We won our first race in 2009. Four years after coming into the sport, and I remember collecting the trophy that day and then getting on the plane to go home that evening and thinking well at least we’ve won one. If nothing else happens, we’ve won a race. But it felt so good. It was like, Well, we really want to feel that again”.
“And who would have thought 99 victories later we achieved a century. So it’s a landmark for the team. It’s testament to the dedication and the hard work of all the people within the company. track-side behind the scenes and all the support services. There’s so many unsung heroes that have contributed to this incredible achievement”.
“So it’s something that the whole team is incredibly proud of,” summed up Horner. The team boss as a person has never been one to forget the team, not just the race day outfit, but all involved back at the factory in Milton Keynes. Just like Verstappen, he is thrilled at the Dutchman’s milestone achievement at the weekend just gone.
“Again, Max is…what we’re witnessing with Max is the emergence of another mega talent and you can start to talk about him in the same sentence as the greats now,” said Horner. “And having matched Ayrton Senna, the podium today actually was very apt of if you like the last couple of decades of Formula One with Max, Fernando and Lewis up there”.
“He just keeps delivering at such a high level. I mean, the race he did today was fantastic. But for me yesterday was outstanding in conditions that were continually changing. His ability to adapt at all points, the conditions, whatever tyre whatever grip level he had was Max at his best,” summed up Horner.
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