Max Verstappen has dismissed claims that Red Bull’s Formula 1 cars being designed around his driving style are the reason for the huge gaps to his team-mates.

After both Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon suffered comprehensive beatings by Verstappen in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo’s departure at the end of 2018, Red Bull elected to recruit outside its driver academy with the signing of Sergio Perez for 2021.

However, the Mexican has struggled considerably this season in the second Red Bull seat, dropping 137 points behind Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship.

Amid Red Bull’s crushing dominance in 2023, Verstappen has won 11 out of 13 races this year – including the last nine consecutively – while Perez has failed to finish on the podium five times during that run.

Last weekend at Zandvoort, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff fuelled speculation by stating: “We’ve seen that Max has destroyed every single team-mate that was with him.

“Whether or not it’s his ability to create a car around himself that is very tricky to control, but fast if you can, and it makes those gaps, I haven’t heard any explanations, but… Odd.”

Meanwhile, Perez conceded last weekend that the RB19’s development had drifted the car away from his driving style since he won two of the opening four races.

But when asked today about suggestions Red Bull tailors its cars exclusively to his driving style demands, Verstappen said: “Bulls*** comments. I just drive the car I get to the fastest way possible. I’m not there to tell the guys to give me more front end, because that’s how I like it.

“I’ll just say ‘design me the fastest car, and I’ll drive around that.’ Every single year it’s just different, every car drives a little bit different.

“People will say what is your driving style? My driving style is not something particular, I adapt to what I need for the car to go quick.”

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium. 27.08.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 14, Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort, Netherlands, Race Day.

Verstappen’s latest victory last Sunday on home soil at Zandvoort saw him equal Sebastian Vettel’s record for the most consecutive wins by a driver in F1 history.

This Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix will provide Verstappen with the opportunity to set a new outright benchmark by becoming the only individual to have won 10 F1 races in a row.

The Dutchman, though, says he pays no attention to numbers, adding that he’s solely fixated on triumphing at Monza to further extend his championship lead.

“I remember when he [Vettel] did it,” Verstappen recalled. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ That’s just a crazy number. I think no one ever will do something like that. And here we are. I mean, it’s a crazy number, but I’m also not really too fixated on it.”

“I never thought that I would win nine in a row first of all, but now that we are here, of course, I’ll try to win 10. But it’s more about I want to just win. It’s not about the number 10 in my head.

“I think also that just helps a lot to just focus on the weekend. I mean, it’s already difficult enough with the different tyre choices that we have to deal with. I will just get on with it and see what happens.”

Speaking after the Dutch Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso declared that Verstappen’s current success was being “underestimated”.

When the Spaniard’s words were put to him, Verstappen explained that consistently delivering at the top level appears far easier from the outside than it is.

“I’m not out there to try and prove anything really, I’m just there to do the best I can with the material I have,” he expressed.

“And probably also people don’t know what’s going on within the team, and how difficult it is when you have a very good car to deliver what we are doing as a team, and to win basically every race so far.

“Some people also they can’t appreciate when somebody is constantly doing a good job, I think. And I’m not talking about myself only, just the whole team operation.

“I am just there to do my job. I’m not there to be recognised as other people recognise what I’m doing.”

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