'I never thought I'd be able to win 14 races in a year' says record-breaker Verstappen in Mexico
Max Verstappen won his 14th Grand Prix of the season, setting a new record as he dominated in Mexico City. And the Red Bull driver said he was “incredibly proud” to achieve the feat.
Verstappen took pole position by more than three-tenths as Mercedes’ George Russell qualified on the front row and Lewis Hamilton qualified third on Saturday. As the lights went out, Verstappen – on soft tyres while the Mercedes chose mediums – retained his lead, and it soon became clear that he would be able to pull off a one-stop strategy and win, which he did by a margin of more than 15 seconds.
“Yeah, I mean another great race, I think. We knew that that first stint was going to be the crucial one for us to keep that soft tyre alive long enough, which seemed to work. I mean, I did struggle a bit towards the end, but luckily the gap was big enough to extend a few laps and yeah, once we put on the medium tyres, everything was working quite well,” said Verstappen.
“I think quite early on, we figured that we could make it to the end. Another great race but also, it’s just an incredible season for us as a team. I never thought I would be able to win 14 races in a year, but of course, incredibly proud.”
Not only has Verstappen taken a record-breaking 14th victory this season, he has also set a new record for points scored in a single season, with 416.
“I mean, we have a Sprint race in Brazil, and hopefully we can score a few more,” he said.
“But I mean, it’s not about that. At the end of the day it’s about trying to win a championship and it doesn’t matter by how many points you do it – but it does show we are having an incredible year.”
Having taken his 34th career win, Verstappen heads to Brazil just seven victories off the tally of 41 set by Ayrton Senna. The Dutchman clearly enjoyed the atmosphere in Mexico City, as he said: “It’s amazing. It’s an incredible atmosphere and we love to come here.
“I mean, they put on a great show, the atmosphere in general is incredible with the fans, they are super passionate about Formula 1 – but of course about Checo – but it also helps a lot that you have that whole stadium. It makes it look incredible. It’s a great atmosphere.”