ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — Max Verstappen has revealed Sebastian Vettel sent him a message of support earlier this year when it became clear he had a shot at beating the German’s record of nine grand prix victories in a row.
Verstappen will start Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix from pole position, and a victory on home soil would mean he draws level with Vettel and matches a record that has stood since the end of 2013.
After the Dutch driver secured the fifth victory of his current streak in Austria this year, Vettel sent him a message encouraging him to go for nine.
“After five wins in a row, Seb texted me and said well done with what you are doing, keep it up and you are going to do it,” Verstappen explained.
“But I was like, nine wins in a row is something very impressive and I never thought I would be able to already be on eight.
“So if it’s possible tomorrow, of course I go for it. But it’s not something I have in the back of my head constantly, I’m not in the sport to try and break records. I’m here to win in the moment.”
Lando Norris, who will start second on the grid and is the best-placed driver to prevent Verstappen matching Vettel’s record, remains convinced the championship leader could slip up despite Red Bull winning every race this season.
“I think in the race we have got no chance unless he gets unlucky and something happens,” Norris said. “He’s a very good driver in a very good car and he is just doing the job that he needs to do. Full respect to that.
“But I wouldn’t say he is unbeatable, because on a day like today he can make a mistake — sadly he doesn’t, but it can happen. It happens to everyone and it can still happen to him.
“There’s a time and a place and we are all still waiting for it to happen — just not today.”