Verstappen: Difficult to set F1 career goals due to strong car influence

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Max Verstappen admits it is difficult for him to set career goals in Formula 1 because of the influence cars have on performance.

The Dutchman is a seven-time Grand Prix winner since joining Red Bull part-way through 2016, however, few would argue that, at his best, he is close to Lewis Hamilton as the best on the current grid.

Because of his skill and his age, turning 22 at the end of September, there has been an expectation that eventually, he could potentially write his name among the very best in the F1 record books.

“Well I mean like you said, it also depends on the material that you get over your career,” he said, responding to a question about his aspirations.

“Sometimes you look back at a season and think that we maximised the potential but didn’t win a championship, you need a bit of luck for that as well.

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"I think there's a lot of good drivers that never won a championship, or they’ve won a few but not what they could’ve achieved.

“So, in F1, that’s always a tricky one compared to some other sports where it’s more purely the athlete which makes the difference. Here it’s a bit more difficult.”

Interestingly, however, Lewis Hamilton offered a different view as he considered his victory chances in Italy at the start of the weekend, when the expectation was that Ferrari would be the favourites.

It doesn’t change anything,” he said. “It does sometimes make me wonder, there’s a lot that is put on the performance of the car, and I would say that it’s less concerned with the driver.

“Yet you look at some races you come to, there’s two of my cars [Mercedes'], and sometimes there’s a car between us, or maybe more than one, it’s not necessarily who always has the fastest car.

“Some races I’ve been able to do more with the car than it has particularly wanted to do, that’s what I enjoy.

“I arrive at these tracks and I’ve got this experience where we’re not the quickest like the last race, and I was able to make a subtle difference to move forward in the race.

“I just approach it the same way, trying to outdrive the car, even when there are scenarios like the last race where we weren’t particularly as quick as the Ferraris, but we could outdrive a little bit and put it in close range with the car that is fastest.”