“It's something I have been learning since being a little kid”: Max Verstappen explains why he’s so good at racing in wet conditions

F1 Grand Prix of Canada - Qualifying
F1 Grand Prix of Canada - Qualifying

Max Verstappen claimed yet another pole of his F1 career in the Canadian GP Qualifying. The Red Bull driver left the rest of the field behind by 1.3 seconds as the rain poured down in Montreal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday.

Since his go-karting days, the 25-year-old has been under the guidance of his father Jos Verstappen, who was a former F1 driver himself. Verstappen credits the training received from his father for the results in Canada.

Talking about his expertise in driving in wet conditions the two-time World Champion said:

“In general it helps if you are confident in the wet, but… it’s a lot of feeling as well. Knowing how to drive it, what lines to take. It’s difficult to fully explain why that happens. It's something I have been learning since being a little kid."

He adds further:

"I remember back in the go-karting days, my dad was the guy standing on the track telling me where to drive in the wet because I think back in the day he was also quite decent in the wet."

Jos Verstappen raced in Formula One for teams like Benetton, Simtek and Minardi in his time.

How was Max Verstappen able to conquer the wet conditions?

F1 Grand Prix of Canada - Qualifying
F1 Grand Prix of Canada - Qualifying

With varying levels of water on the track during the three qualifying sessions, most drivers decided to go with intermediate tyres as early as Q1 in Canada.

For Red Bull and Max Verstappen, inters in Q1 seemed like the most obvious choice. Speaking about tyre choices Max said :

“I think Q1 was quite straightforward with inters. The track was quite dry in some places, so there were not many things that could catch you out because the tyres were getting up to temperature quite quickly, so that was good.”

Complications arose in Q2 as the track dried out for a small window which could be enough for the teams to consider switching to slick tyres. However, rain spoiled the plans yet again and the teams who could not capitalize on the brief window suffered the most.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull, being among the ones who made the correct choices at the right time, said:

“You had to make the call in Q2 with when to switch to the slick tyres. At one point it was not possible anymore to try for the slicks. But overall I think we just had good communication with the team throughout Q1, Q2, which I think is the most important, and we were clear with what we wanted to do.”

Q3 witnessed intense rain and the session had to be red-flagged after the McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri rear-ended the wall at Turn 7. Max Verstappen was quick to get out into Q3 and was able to set a lap time before the red flag. The Dutchman eventually wound up 1.244s ahead of the field and with the pole position for the race.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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