Max Verstappen expects to only get faster in Formula 1 as he gains more experience, as he approaches his 21st birthday.
Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix takes place the day Verstappen turns 21, and will be his 76th grand prix start. Having set the record as the youngest ever driver to start a Formula 1 race at the age of 17, Verstappen has picked up four wins so far in his career and expects to find even more pace the longer he races in the category.
“I’m still very young and I guess the more experience I get the faster I’ll be,” Verstappen said. “For sure the target next year is that the package will be even more competitive and we’ll see what we can do.”
Verstappen struggled to an extent at the start of the season, retiring from two of the opening four races before crashing at the end of final practice in Monaco and starting from the back of the grid.
“The beginning was a bit tough but we managed to turn it around in a good way and I’m very happy with the latest results. I think we maximized on a lot of tracks where we didn’t expect to do that well and I got a good amount of points back, which I lost at the beginning of the season, so I can’t really complain about how it’s been going lately.”
Teammate Daniel Ricciardo won twice during the same opening six races, but will leave the team at the end of the season to join Renault. Having only been partnered with Ricciardo since moving to Red Bull in 2016, Verstappen expects to continue a good relationship with the Australian even when he leaves.
“I don’t see why not. It’s not like he’s gone, he’s just going to a different team. As a friend and as an ex-teammate… he was always a strong competitor and he’s generally regarded as one of the best in Formula 1, so it was great to have him as a teammate and to grow together to higher levels.”