Wache praises Verstappen’s speed of adaptation

Wache praises Verstappen’s speed of adaptation
Wache praises Verstappen’s speed of adaptation
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Red Bull Racing’s technical director, Pierre Wache, believes that Max Verstappen’s speed of adaptation to Formula 1 tracks is an ‘absurd advantage’ that the Dutchman has over other drivers.

Since the return of ground effect in 2022, the partnership between Red Bull and Verstappen has become one of the most successful in F1. Even with absolute dominance last season, where Red Bull won all but one race (Singapore GP, won by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz), Verstappen still finished the championship with an impressive 290 points more than teammate Sergio Perez.

Despite his retirement in Australia, Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship in 2024, thanks to victories in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

For Wache, one of Verstappen’s greatest strengths is the ease with which he learns the limits of each circuit on race weekends. “He loves racing, has incredible talent and feels the limits of the car perfectly. Before I started working with him, I had never seen a driver who reached his limit on the first lap.”

“This really gives you an absurd advantage, especially since testing nowadays is very limited. It’s also an advantage for us to have a driver who can push the car to the limit immediately. Furthermore, he is good at driving the car as a driver and as an engineer, as he is constantly looking for ways to improve the car. Victory is not enough for him, he always wants more, just like the rest of the team. He doesn’t rest after a victory, he keeps going,” said Wache.

Verstappen’s dominance began in earnest at the 2022 Belgian GP, ​​when rumors that a mid-season rule change would hurt Red Bull were dispelled. On that occasion, the Dutchman started 14th due to a grid penalty, but won the race with a margin of 17.8 seconds.

Asked about Verstappen’s performance at Spa-Francorchamps, Wache explained: “Max is very fast on this track. Furthermore, the RB18 was also perfectly suited to the circuit. These two aspects made the difference in Belgium. The fact that there were still many cars suffering from ‘porpoising’ at that time also played a role, as this is where the problem with the current generation of cars can arise.”

“In fact, we gained an advantage over the competition because the rules became stricter. Therefore, we can talk about a turning point that weekend. In fact, Ferrari had the fastest car at the start of 2022. We extracted the full potential of the car in Spa, even with the FIA ​​tightening the rules regarding the floor of the car. This change ended up giving us an even greater advantage over the competition. We were no longer suffering so much from ‘porpoising’, and from then on, the difference between us and Ferrari became even greater”, concluded the Red Bull director.

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The article is in Portuguese

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