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Verstappen focused on Red Bull success to end Silverstone drought

A calm and focussed Max Verstappen on Thursday expressed some relief that his Red Bull team have maintained a very healthy lead over all their rivals despite introducing fewer upgrades this season.

Speaking at Silverstone on the eve of opening practice at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the defending double world champion and series leader oozed confidence.

“We’ve had a great start to the year and we are understanding our car better and better with each race – what we want and what we need,” the 25-year-old Dutchman said.

“But we are not standing still. It is true that, maybe, other teams speak a bit more about updates and bigger upgrades from one race to the next, but we bring stuff as well because it’s necessary to stay ahead.

“So it is definitely a good sign, I think that we’ve done less than some of our competitors – that I think is quite clear and we still have a good margin.

“Of course, it’s a bit bigger at some tracks than others, but overall we have a strong base package and it is just for us to make sure that we get all the potential out of it every weekend.”

McLaren record in sight

Verstappen arrives at Silverstone with an 81-point lead in the drivers’ title race as he heads, seemingly inevitably, to a third successive world title, having won the last five races.

“I think our car is not so great on street circuits,” he added. “Places with a lot of bumpy tracks, then our car is not so fantastic and that’s why our winning margin was a bit smaller in Monaco.

“It wasn’t fantastic either in Montreal, for example, and we know there are still a few street circuits coming up where potentially it will be, again, a little harder for us.”

That admission suggested he may be fretting, but his demeanour and record on form this year suggests there is little his rivals can do other than hope for Red Bull to suffer a reliability problem.

Verstappen missed out on victories at Silverstone last year and in 2021 due to debris on the track and a crash respectively and is highly motivated to win at the circuit closest to the team’s headquarters in Milton Keynes.

“Yeah, sometimes you get a bit of bad luck?” he conceded. “But we know our car is better probably and more competitive than last year. So I’m just looking forward to the weekend and hopefully a good result.”

Having won the last 10 races, Red Bull could draw level with McLaren on a record 11 wins – set by the British team in 1988 – if they triumph at Silverstone on Sunday.

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