Max Verstappen has categorically denied that Red Bull do not develop the team's car to suit his driving style more than that of Sergio Perez, as he admitted that it is down to the driver to 'adapt to the needs of the car'.
One of the most casual (arguably lazy) rumours that is thrown about by F1 fans – largely due to his supremacy within the team – is that there is no way Verstappen and Perez are driving the exact same car.
You can understand why questions might be raised given that the Dutchman won 17 more races than Perez – who although went through a tough patch this season, is undeniably a class operator behind the wheel.
Yet for as much credit as Perez does deserve (albeit perhaps not this season), Verstappen was simply at one with his RB19 in 2023.
And according to the three-time world champion, it all comes down to the fact that he knows how to change his approach to get the very best out of the car.
Verstappen: Perez and I drive exact same F1 car
"I'm not interested in the opinions of others," Verstappen told AMuS when questioned as to whether it was the car or his own driving ability that helped him dominate last year.
"They don't know our car. I just try to get the best out of it. And I do that every time. I don't know how dominant this car is compared to previous cars. Nobody knows that."
"I tune the car the way I like it and the other driver tunes it to suit him," he added when asked whether the car is developed specifically towards his needs.
"The engineers develop the car to make it faster. And not how I would like it to be. It's the same with the driving style. What is your driving style? I don't know. I adapt to the needs of the car to make it the fastest.
"That's the key to being a really good Formula 1 driver. Adapting to what you get from the team."
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