Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has affirmed that he was justified in waiting to achieve success at the team.
The Dutchman joined the Milton Keynes-based squad in 2016 having spent a year alongside Carlos Sainz at Toro Rosso.
The now 24-year-old replaced Daniil Kvyat just four races into the 2026 season, and he would partner Daniel Ricciardo at the four-time champions.
He took a stunning victory on his debut at the Spanish Grand Prix, before finishing second to Ricciardo in Malaysia later that year – Red Bull claiming their first one-two wince 2013.
Between them, Verstappen and Ricciardo won another seven between them until the end of 2018, when the Australian left.
The team were splitting from Renault in favour of Honda, Verstappen had earned priority at the team, and Ricciardo had suffered eight reliability-related retirements.
He decided it was time for a change, so he switched to the Renault team, before then joining McLaren last year.
Verstappen stayed on, winning five races in 2019 and 2020, before adding another 10 to his tally as he claimed championship success last term.
In the end, the long game worked for the now 31-time race winner, who is set to add a second championship to the collection this year.
Red Bull have largely stuck with the same group of people they had four years ago, and Verstappen enjoys that.
“The team hasn’t really changed a lot,” he said, quoted by GPFans.
“We have got a few more people on board in the last few years and everyone is doing their job to the best they possibly can at the moment, and it is really enjoyable to be a part of the team.
“There’s a really good team atmosphere and I always find that is the most important.
“Even if, let’s say, you’re not winning, but if the team atmosphere is good, then you can improve a lot over time and you have to be patient as well, you cannot force things. That’s what I always learned.”
The group at Milton Keynes has “trusted the process” for several years, and that seems to have paid off.
“That’s why I never left as well,” added Verstappen.
“I trusted the process and sometimes you could have said, ‘Ah, it’s time to leave or go somewhere else and try to chase immediate success’.
“But I trusted the process and I believed in the people in the team and it’s paying off so I’m very happy where I am.”
Verstappen leads Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by 116 points heading into the final six rounds of the 2022 season.