Max Verstappen is maximizing his potential more regularly than any other driver on the Formula 1 grid, according to Fernando Alonso, who thinks the Dutchman’s remarkable level of performance should not be underestimated.
Verstappen secured his ninth consecutive victory in the chaotic Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday, and will go in search of a record-breaking 10th in a row at Monza this coming weekend. Having felt he was at his best himself at Zandvoort, Alonso says achieving such a level is tough and that Verstappen manages to do so more often than any of the other drivers at the moment.
“It is underestimated sometimes, what Max is achieving,” Alonso said. “I think to win in such a dominant matter in any of the professional sports, it is so complicated. So to be at the same level of him — obviously, we have a lot of self-confidence, drivers in general, so I do believe that I can do good as well.
“I think you need to enter a mood, in a state that you are connected with a car. I think days like (last Sunday), I felt that I was at my best and have been giving 100% of what I felt and my abilities in a racing car, but maybe in Spa I was not at that level, or in Austria.
“So you always feel that there is room to improve and you are not 100% happy with yourself, as I am. And I think Max is achieving that 100% more often than us at the moment, any of the drivers, so that’s why he’s dominating.”
Verstappen shared two victories apiece with teammate Sergio Perez in the opening four races, but since climbing through the field to win from the Mexican in Miami he has been unbeaten, and he says it was the previous round that actually triggered that form.
“I think I learned a lot from the race in Baku — how to do some things with the car, how to set it up,” Verstappen said. “Of course, I didn’t win that race in Baku but actually I really tried a lot of stuff and different tools in the car.
“That’s why throughout the race it was a little bit inconsistent, but at one point, I got into a good rhythm with what I found but then I damaged my tires a bit too much. But it was like, ‘OK, that’s quite interesting for the next races.’ And I basically implemented that and it has helped me on every track.”