The Dutchman on the eve of Monza: “I don’t care how much my opponent won, I want to be the F1 champion. Monza? Superb, for the fans and especially for the food! The fans are pushing Ferrari, maybe this time they are cheering for me a little against Mercedes ”
The turnaround is served, Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the World Championship and Monza does not want to leave the scepter. It won’t be easy, because the Lombard track has been a Mercedes’ hunting ground for years. But Red Bull is in good shape and the Dutchman is charged up like never before after his home win in Zandvoort, an important boost of confidence to start the decisive sprint. You can’t go wrong, not least because Mercedes hasn’t been fighting for seven consecutive seasons. Max knows this, and in Monza he hopes to have a little help from the Italian public “Ferrari, but always super passionate”. We talked about it in this interview, in which the Dutchman confirms that he is focused and does not feel the pressure in this close match against Hamilton. And to be a big fan of our seas and our food.
– Max, we are about to experience an exciting final sprint of this F1 World Championship and she is one of the absolute protagonists. Do you feel ready?
“Since the beginning of the season we have been, we have always given our best, obtained good results. After the summer break we can continue to do well and make this final exciting, the battle for the championship is really tight ”.
– His team seems to have the same energy and the same motivation.
“The team’s motivation is very high and will continue. We always work in the same direction, this is important and I hope it will bear fruit ”.
– This is the first chance since racing in F1 that he is vying for the final victory. That’s what you’ve always worked for, but now that you’re living in this moment, do you feel any particular emotions?
“Actually not at the moment. Of course I’m happy to be in contention for the title now, but I would like to be ahead of the end of the season. For now, what matters is to stay focused on every single race, do the best possible and take all the points available ”.
– Last year, in a previous interview, he said that the Mercedes was unbeatable, having half a second of margin. This year the situation is different. Are you now on the same level or is there a favorite?
“Mercedes at Silverstone and Budapest has made progress and has grown, now it’s up to us to respond and that’s what we’ll do, then we’ll see how it goes.”
– He is fighting for the title against Lewis Hamilton, a difficult opponent also for his experience, from the top of his 7 world championships. Did you change anything in your preparation or approach to the race weekends?
“No nothing. I have always looked to myself, trying to improve and do my best, perhaps trying to refine small details for the better. I don’t think it counts how many titles you have won in F1, the car counts. I think about myself and the team’s work, which is to make ours faster and faster. By doing so, anyone can be beaten ”.
– Red Bull sometimes takes its F1 cars to incredible places, from snow-capped mountains to cities like Palermo. Is there a city or country not currently on the F1 calendar where you would like to race?
“I would like to race in South Africa”.
– If you were planning a vacation in Italy, where would you go?
“In Italy in many places! I think I would like a week on the beach, once I was in Sardinia and I would like to go back, Sicily is beautiful, or even Capri. Anyway it would be a beach holiday, I’m thinking of the South, maybe with a kart track nearby to keep me fit ”.
– In Italy we are obsessed with food. Pasta or pizza?
“I prefer pasta. Even if in Italy everything is better ”.
– Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?
“I love pineapple, but absolutely not on pizza”.
– On Sunday we race in Monza, one of the fastest tracks. And the public will also return. What atmosphere do you expect from the Italian fans?
“It’s always nice to come back, the fans are super passionate, obviously they cheer for Ferrari and it is obvious that this is the case. Then when you run the public is seen less, Monza has a great history, great speed, it is not easy to make the corners well with an unloaded car to go fast on the straight. But I always go back very willingly because, in addition to running, you eat well! “.
– Italian fans love Ferrari, but also spectacular drivers like her. Would you like to send them a message, perhaps to convince them to cheer for you in this fight for the World Cup?
“(Smile; ed) Well, at the moment Ferrari is not at the top, but they are doing a lot to recover, for the sport it would be important for Ferrari to fight back there with us. I hope the race is spectacular and that the fans cheer us more at Mercedes, as we will all try to beat it. We hope we all enjoy a nice weekend. I too wish Ferrari to do well ”.
9 September – 09:24
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