Former F1 Driver Doubts Max Verstappen's Dominance This Season, Horner Concerned

Max Verstappen's performances do not inspire optimism

by Sead Dedovic
Former F1 Driver Doubts Max Verstappen's Dominance This Season, Horner Concerned
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

Max Verstappen's future is always an interesting topic. Predictions before the start of this season were that the Dutchman would potentially be even more dominant or at least equally dominant as last season. Last season showcased all the strengths of this 26-year-old, who impressed F1 fans. Red Bull had high hopes that they would again compete for the championship this season. And it seemed so until the last few races revealed the weaknesses of this team. 

However, it's funny to even characterize Red Bull as a team with weaknesses, considering they are still leading. Nevertheless, the danger coming from Ferrari, as well as McLaren, raises many questions, such as: Can these two teams spoil Verstappen's plans? Former F1 driver, Robert Doornbos, spoke in an interesting way about Verstappen's performances this season in one of the conversations, reminding Ziggo Sport pundit Romb Kamphues of predictions that Max would win 22 races this season.

“You said that Max was going to win 22 races this year,” Doornbos told Ziggo Sport pundit Rob Kamphues, as quoted by Planet F1.

“So that’s not going to happen. He will win another six or seven.”

Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, emphasized that they face threats from two quality teams: Ferrari and McLaren. However, Horner expected such occurrences, considering the difficulty in maintaining consistency, especially in modern times. He praised the performances of Red Bull's competitors, acknowledging that they have made massive progress. 

The Red Bull team principal anticipates that the upcoming races could reveal a lot about this season. Although their intentions are to shine, it's hard to expect the Austrian team to easily achieve victory in these races. Some question whether Red Bull can even compete with teams like Ferrari and McLaren in the next races.

“Ferrari, McLaren, they’re quick. It was always going to happen that there was going to be convergence.

I think McLaren made a big step, Ferrari’s step was very subtle. So let’s see over the next two or three races.

We’re now getting into the meat of the championship so let’s see. Montreal, Barcelona, Austria, Silverstone, let’s see over the next few circuits how things pan out.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”- Christian Horner said.

Christian Horner and Max Verstappen
Christian Horner and Max Verstappen© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

Fred Vasseur compared the current Formula 1 season to a marathon with unpredictable outcomes. He clarified that he didn't make any claims about Red Bull becoming champions after six races. Instead, he accentuated the uncertainty of the championship race, stressing that there are still 16 races remaining. 

Vasseur pointed out the huge number of points still up for grabs, indicating that nothing is definitively decided yet. He also speculated on Red Bull's perspective, suggesting that they never assumed they had already secured the championship. Vasseur underscored the competitive nature of F1, stating that constant effort and determination are necessary, and he believes that Red Bull is not in a dominant position.

The leaders of Red Bull are now somewhat apprehensive, aware that things won't be easy for them in the remainder of the season. Considering the strength of Ferrari and McLaren, Red Bull will need to carefully consider their next steps. Max Verstappen has ambitions to lift another trophy, but others will have a say in that too. Vasseur emphasized during the conversation that things change from race to race, depending on the track where one team may dominate, while on another track, it could be someone else. He concluded his thoughts by emphasizing that the race will be tight until the very end.

Max Verstappen: I would be happy to invite anyone in the paddock to drive this car faster than me

Max Verstappen is unhappy with the recent criticisms, especially following the last race. The Dutchman believes he didn't make a mistake in the Monaco race, asserting that anyone who thinks they can drive the car faster than him will be given the opportunity to prove it.

 “I would say no. And I would be happy to invite anyone in the paddock to drive this car faster than me.”- Max Verstappen said.

Jos Verstappen, Max's father, highlights that it will be interesting to follow the rest of the season, believing that Red Bull will demonstrate their superiority in some races, but he is also aware of the numerous weaknesses they need to address. The next race will be an opportunity for the Austrian team to correct their mistakes and move in the right direction. He remains Max's biggest supporter and expects him to write the same success story this season as he has in the previous ones.

“For sure there will be other tracks where Red Bull will do well again, but I am very curious [to see] how they will solve these problems."- Jos Verstappen said.

Max Verstappen