Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix not only marked Red Bull’s 100th victory in Formula 1 but also saw Max Verstappen claim his 41st race win, placing him on equal footing with the legendary Ayrton Senna.
Unlike Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen isn’t particularly fixated on statistics or records.
However, even he couldn’t deny the wave of emotion that washed over him as he achieved the same number of race wins as the Brazilian icon, Senna.
Senna’s last triumph occurred in 1993 in Australia, securing him second place – just behind his great rival Alain Prost – on the all-time list of winners.
Since then, the likes of Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, and Lewis Hamilton have surpassed Prost’s record of 51 victories.
Verstappen’s feat of matching Senna’s 41 wins now positions the Dutchman as the joint-fifth most successful driver in the sport’s history.
“I’m not fond of comparing different eras,” admitted Verstappen.
“But from my perspective, all I can say is that when I was a young child driving go-karts, I dreamt of becoming a Formula 1 driver.
“I could never have imagined winning 41 Grands Prix.”
“So, of course, it feels incredible to be on par with Ayrton,” he confessed.
“I’m proud of this achievement, but I hope it doesn’t stop here. I aspire to win more races.
“I’ve won 41 of Red Bull’s 100 wins, so maybe we’ll have to discuss a new contract because of that,” Verstappen jokingly quipped.
He shared his delight at securing the Austrian team’s 100th win, stating: “On a serious note, it’s a remarkable milestone for the team.
“We were aware that this race presented us with the first opportunity to reach this landmark, and I’m pleased we achieved it with a hundred wins.
“However, I hope we go beyond a hundred… let’s set our sights on 200!”
Although Verstappen’s dominance during the race appeared effortless to spectators, the Dutchman revealed that the day was not without its moments of drama.
Making significant adjustments to his car compared to Friday’s practice sessions, he admitted to some uncertainty regarding its performance.
Nevertheless, he expressed his relief that things worked out in the right direction.
“It was quite challenging to maintain the tyres in the optimal range,” he said.
“They consistently ran cold, so we had to push quite hard to keep the temperature up.
“With the low grip, it wasn’t the easiest or most straightforward race.
“However, everything went well. The harder compound tyre posed some limitations due to its tougher composition, making it even more difficult to maintain the temperature.”
“I wouldn’t say it was our best race today,” Verstappen acknowledged, emphasising the team’s strong performance. “It demonstrates that we have a superb car.”