Verstappen explains where 'exceptional' drivers 'make the difference' in F1

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Max Verstappen has explained where he thinks "exceptional" drivers "make the difference" in Formula 1.

The reigning world champion was responding to comments from 2021 rival Lewis Hamilton, who credited Adrian Newey and Red Bull for the Dutchman's success this season.

And while Verstappen did note the obvious irony in the seven-time world champion's words, he did speak highly of the Briton.

"A lot of that is down to the team, of course," he agreed, "as is also how Lewis won his championships because that’s how it goes in Formula 1.

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"Your car is super-important, but I think when you’re an exceptional driver like Lewis is as well, you make a difference over your teammate at the time, in very crucial races as well.

"For example, for me, one that stood out, as well for him, was Turkey [in 2020] when it was very slippery - just staying calm, not making mistakes.

"You end up winning a race like that and that’s what, at the end of the day, good drivers do. They do make the difference compared to other fast drivers but not as good.

"So, the car is very dominant in Formula 1 but of course between teammates, only one can win, and that’s where you have to make the difference."

Switching back to this season, Verstappen is now on the brink of claiming his second world title with 11 victories to his name, including the last five in a row.

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And he admits Red Bull needs to embrace this renewed period of success. 

“We are having an amazing year, and it's important to enjoy it as well,” Verstappen said.

“To be honest, for me, it was always close up until maybe one or two races [ago].

"Spa was not, but up until then it was always very close and it was always just a question of are we going win it or are we going to be second.

"With the lead we have now, it's nice and it's great, but we still want to win more races.”