In a recent interview for the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen talked about racing at Monza in front of the Ferrari fans, Red Bull dominating the current season, his Formula 1 future and much more:
In Monza you arrive as an ‘enemy’ of Ferrari, how do you feel?
Max Verstappen: “I don’t feel like an ‘enemy’ of anyone. Almost everyone here supports Ferrari, and it is nice to see so much passion. I am only a rival and I think you have to appreciate when one is doing a great job..”
How much fun do you have in this championship where you have no rivals?
Max Verstappen: “A lot. The car drives like a charm, it’s fast and predictable. But it’s not just driving, rather it’s the way we operate in the team.”
There are those who claim, George Russell among them, that at least 10 drivers could win if they drove the [current] Red Bull. How do you respond to that?
Max Verstappen: “Mmm, yes maybe they could win. But not in the way we are winning. It’s all speculation, let them talk.”
What does Red Bull have more than Ferrari?
Max Verstappen: “At the moment I am happy where I am. Red Bull is like a second family and I have a long contract. I wouldn’t know how to compare them because I’ve never been at Ferrari. I respect Ferrari a lot for what they have achieved in the past, especially during the Michael Schumacher era.”
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They say that Lando Norris might become your teammate one day. Would you like that?
Max Verstappen: “These are rumours, like those of drivers with a pre-agreement with Ferrari in hand.
To hear the rumours there would be at least a dozen…. Lando is my padel partner. He is the strongest of us all on the field. And he does well on the track too.”
If you were a team principal would you take Lando Norris for your team?
Max Verstappen: “Yes, for the second driver I would have to think about a bit more. Hard to choose, Piastri is also good. McLaren has a good pair.”
What would you like to do after F1?
Max Verstappen: “To race in other categories. And set up my own team. Not in F1, in endurance. To help young drivers grow. Our sport is expensive and so many talents are cut out. I would like to take them from the world of simulated racing (online racing) to real racing. Sim racing is a big passion of mine!”