Q: Max, everyone has been asking how your pit-stop misunderstanding was possible in Austin last weekend?
Max Verstappen: Ha, you always have a bit of coded messages, of course, and to be honest in the last couple of days I was thinking a lot about what happened. And probably this is what I came up with: when you are driving in the car for an hour you get a bit into the comfort zone - a bit like autopilot - and I saw Daniel (Ricciardo) pit the lap before, so I thought when we are so close together in the race that I pit the next lap for my last stint. And then it went wrong - maybe from thinking too much!
Q: So you misunderstood the push call for a pit call?
MV: A bit, yes. But at the end of the day it shouldn’t make a difference.
Q: So you expected a pit call and instead received a push call?
MV: Kind of. It happened - and will not happen again.
Q: When you thought that you should pit, how much longer do you think you could have lasted on those tyres?
MV: Two more laps.
Q: Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko was a bit furious. Did you have a conversation with him afterwards?
MV: Sure. We always talk after the race.
Q: But probably this time it was not as pleasant as on many other occasions…
MV: Well, you sometimes have these moments. I had these kind of conversations also many times with my dad.
Q: Do you still have to work on getting the right balance between when to be aggressive and when not. Is that part of the F1 learning curve?
MV: To be honest, I don’t know. So far it has all gone pretty well. But of course you always learn. But when I look back at the season I would say that I have been pretty consistent.
Q: There was a conversation with your race engineer where he told you to slow down a bit to look after your tyres and you answered ‘I am not here to race for P4’. Was it a tyre situation, or was it because you were stuck behind Nico (Rosberg)?
MV: Whatever happens in the future I will put my radio button out. No radio for me anymore! As a driver you want to go forward - of course. Actually I want to win.
Q: So was it an unnecessary message from the team?
MV: No, because they always try to help you in the race. We always try to improve and try to do a better job here.
Q: But probably with less conversation?
MV: Every time I push my radio button it is broadcast. It might sound a bit arrogant when I say that I am not here to finish fourth, but it is exactly what comes to my mind: I am not here finishing fourth. And that has nothing to do with arrogance - and sure not being arrogant with the team.
Q: So how will the team radio be for you in the future?
MV: I think I will reduce it to simple okay, yes and no. No long sentences anymore for me - then I should be on the safe side! (Laughs)
Q: Was there any warning of the car failure in Austin?
MV: When I was upshifting it happened. It was the gearbox and the team is still investigating what happened. If it breaks it damages a lot.
Q: So, happy with how you are doing?
MV: Pretty much, yes.
Q: What do you expect here in Mexico?
MV: Well it should be okay, even if the long straight is not our kind of tea. Probably the high altitude should help us a bit.
Q: The altitude will put a lot more pressure on the brakes…
MV: Yes, quite a number of teams got caught out last year. But my guess is that they will all be prepared better this time. But I think we all will be again pretty much on the limit with brakes - actually with everything!