Peter Windsor sees that Max Verstappen’s smooth driving style, as it were, manipulates the car, and that can make a big difference over a race distance. The Brit sees that Verstappen’s movements are always very gentle and calm, which allows him to excel on every part of a circuit. He steers the car with his feet, as it were.
What Windsor notices when watching onboards of the three-time world champion is that he never moves jerkily and everything goes very smoothly. “His movements are very soft, so the car doesn’t jerk,” Windsor begins in his live chat on his YouTube channel. ‘And then you also have some more aggressive drivers, in that respect, and they don’t have that flexibility. Over one lap it doesn’t make much difference, but over an entire race distance it makes a huge difference,” the former team manager continues.
That’s why it doesn’t really matter what kind of circuit and through which corners Verstappen drives. ‘If you are flexible, you manipulate the car. Max manipulates the car a bit, so to speak. He then checks the balance a little more with his feet, and that’s not something you can really see measurably, just that it looks very controlled and smooth. It’s the same with Charles and Lewis,” Windsor emphasizes, who tries to explain that there are also drivers who pull the wheel a lot and try to maintain control of the car in this way.
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“The reality is that Red Bull can only get better”
Verstappen and the RB19 seemed to be completely one in the 2023 season. The Dutchman did not expect the 2024 season to be so incredibly successful again, but Windsor sees no reason why not. ‘Not only do they have an advantage, but they also have all the building blocks they need. Even if they hadn’t started the RB20 early in the 2023 season, they have all the building blocks they need. And above all, the right one,” says Windsor.
‘In theory, Red Bull can only get better. It’s not even a theory, it’s reality,” the Brit continues. But what about after 2025? From 2026, Red Bull will partner with Ford and use their knowledge of electric power for the new engines. “If you look at the new engine regulations, Mercedes will have a very good engine. Red Bull Ford will also work well on that, but Mercedes will probably have the best engine in 2026.’