After securing a win in at the German Grand Prix and now celebrating his first-ever pole position becoming F1’s 100th different pole-sitter, Max Verstappen looks to be bringing a challenge to Mercedes that Ferrari have failed to do in the past two season despite having car that has been there or thereabouts.
It’s not a good thing for Ferrari but it is an excellent performance jump for Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen. Red Bull joined with Honda after the engine manufacturer parted ways with McLaren and they have made steady progress ever since.
As I said several years ago—when Honda came back to F1 as a supplier and McLaren first hinted at struggling with the Japanese car giant—Red Bull could be the team that gets the Honda to work. Back when Red Bull were being maligned for complaining that Mercedes and Ferrari wouldn’t supply them an engine and the Renault was not an option, I felt that should they switch to Honda, they would do what McLaren couldn’t do…become a successful team with their own dedicated engine supplier and that could be coming true.
In the end, it’s all about the car and Red Bull have sent notice that their sights are squarely on Mercedes and winning. That’ll take some doing as Mercedes has been dominant for 5 seasons now with Lewis Hamilton winning five titles but that’s something Max Verstappen says several drivers could do if they had the best car.
‘There are a lot of good drivers around the paddock who are capable of winning five titles.
‘I have a great deal of respect for what Lewis has achieved. But you need luck in your team, and then be able to beat your team-mate. Then, if the team is winning for a long time, the victories soon add up.
‘Fernando Alonso would probably have won eight or nine titles in the right team because he was a brilliant driver. In F1 at the moment, there are three of four drivers of that capability.’
He didn’t expand on who those three or four drivers might be but it’s very clear he’s one of them and we know Sebastian Vettel is capable as is Daniel Ricciardo or Nico Hulkenberg. What we may know is that Valtteri Bottas may not be one of the as he’s currently in the best car and has been for couple years.
this isn’t new territory, I recall Lewis Hamilton saying much the same thing about Sebastian Vettel when he won his four titles with Red Bull. I’ve reminded our listeners of that comment now that Lewis is winning in a dominant car. However, I’ve all reminded them that from 1996 until 2000, the Ferrari wasn’t not the dominant car but the 2005 and 2006 season, Renault was but not by a country mile. You could unpack the level of domination such as 2009 and other years as well.
In defense of Lewis, it does always seem that the best drivers end up in the best cars if they are shrewd and canny enough to manage it. Lewis made a bold move to leave McLaren but he read the tea leaves perfectly. Perhaps Max will do the same and deliver his Dutch fans a handful of titles.
Hat Tip: Daily Mail