Q: Max, have you now digested the fact that you once again re-wrote F1 history with your win in Spain?
Max Verstappen: Ha, it was probably more exciting from the outside. Yes, it’s a bit of a special feeling but in the end I don’t follow and count records. I just want to win. Period!
Q: There are two other drivers on the grid who previously held the ‘youngest ever’ attribute: Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel - and both became world champions. Is that also your given destiny?
MV: I wish that’s my destiny. At least I try to! (laughs) I always wanted to be in Formula One, to win races and championships - nothing else. I’ve won one race now - so let’s hope that it is the start of a long series!
Q: How did you learn that you would take Daniil Kvyat’s seat at Red Bull? Did you expect that something like that could happen during the season?
MV: Well, you never can expect such a chance! Not at that time of the year. Dr Helmut Marko [Red Bull motorsport consultant] called me after Russia and we met in Graz - and then everything got cemented into a contract! I know speaking it out it sounds pretty unimpressive, but it I knew what big chance was attached to it!
Q: Helmut is a pretty tough task master when it comes to his drivers and you must have been aware that there was another party who also got a call from him with much less happy news. Was that on your mind?
MV: Well, you always have that! That’s life - and more precise: that’s Formula One. I wouldn’t say that Helmut is tough - he is straight forward - and that’s where we match. And that’s what he also likes in me - I guess.
Q: How did you learn to be so unfazed about all the things that go on around you? Stress and excitement seem to glance off your personality - and all at an age of eighteen…
MV: All I can say is: I am just myself. That’s how I grew up. I haven’t really taken the time to analyse myself! (laughs) Too many things have happened lately….
Q: Don’t you sometimes have the feeling that everything has come too fast - that the expectation level will again raise a notch and you have to cope with it?
MV: As I said I am not thinking too much about it. I just do it. And lucky me: it has always been very positive for me.
Q: Being unconcerned is a privilege of youth. One day you might sit down and think - and it is then when many successful youngsters fall into a black hole…
MV: …then it kicks in again: don’t think too much. (laughs) Just do your thing!
Q: You have won many races before - otherwise you wouldn’t be here. What makes that F1 win so special?
MV: Because it’s your dream! Something that I wanted as long as I can remember!
Q: Does it make it more special that you kept two former world champions behind you - Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel?
MV: Ha! Probably that was a bit the icing on the cake! But in the end you don’t care who is behind you - as long as they are behind you!
Q: Helmut was on the podium with you - something he hasn’t done in years…
MV: Yep, I think it was a big relief for him, too - to show everybody that it was the right decision [to switch drivers]. So my guess is that he was very happy. He has taken quite a risk - and it paid off - for both of us!
Q: You’ve won with Kvyat’s car. That must be pretty tough for him. Have there been big changes from Russia to Spain to explain that?
MV: Not really big changes. And again: What happened happened! I trust we both tried to deliver the best possible result with the cars that we had.
Q: Aren’t you also living your dad’s dream? He was in F1 for many years, mostly driving inferior cars and never really breaking through - and there you come - and win with a not so competitive car…
MV: Well, we sometimes talk about it. I think that the potential of my dad didn’t come out fully - for many reasons. To start with he was teamed against a world champion - Michael Schumacher - and that is not easy. And aside from that things happened that didn’t help his career. So yes, he has some unfinished business in F1 - so in Spain all his hard work paid off…
Q: …so you finish his unfinished F1 business?
MV: Yes, that’s how I see it as well! (laughs)
Q: Red Bull obviously also raised your salary significantly…
MV: All I can say: I am not getting poorer… (laughs)
Q: Monaco should also be a Red Bull track - but it is a track where experience can help a lot. Are you ready to tip the scale with youthful bravado - and bring the car home?
MV: Well, I think the package is very strong here. I had a good feeling so far - given the fact that it will only be my second race in the RB11. I am a realist: Mercedes will be very strong again - no matter if it is an engine driven track or not. A podium would be very cool here - winning of course even cooler! But to be honest: when in ten years’ time - and after winning a couple of world championships - I have never won Monaco then I would say: I don’t care! (laughs)