Red Bull advisor makes bold prediction about Max Verstappen’s title prospects - Hindustan Times

Not just Sergio Perez, Red Bull advisor names only 2 drivers challenging Max Verstappen

Aug 03, 2023 03:48 PM IST

Max Verstappen delivered an amazing performance to win the Belgian Grand Prix.

Red Bull racer Sergio Perez claimed second spot at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend. Defending world champion Max Verstappen finished the race 22.305 seconds ahead of his teammate and second-placed Sergio Perez at the Spa-Francorchamps. Talking about the two drivers, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko claimed that being second behind Verstappen is like a win. Marko feels that there are two other drivers, currently, who would get closer to Verstappen than Perez. Verstappen headed into the Formula One summer break with a 125-point lead over Perez.

Winner Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (C), second-placed Red Bull Racing's Mexican driver Sergio Perez (L) and third-placed Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (R) pose on the podium (AFP)
Winner Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (C), second-placed Red Bull Racing's Mexican driver Sergio Perez (L) and third-placed Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (R) pose on the podium (AFP)

“Being second behind Max is like a win. There won’t be any other driver who could stay with him on one level. Maybe [Fernando] Alonso and [Lewis] Hamilton would be nearer, but nobody could beat him at the moment. I know how good Max is [and] that has to be considered. He’s nursing the tyres and he’s still going fast. He can read the race and he’s so far ahead [with] what he’s doing he’s already past. It’s unbelievable capacity in his head,” Marko said while speaking on the latest F1 Nation podcast.

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Just like the racers’ standings, the constructors’ table is also dominated by Red Bull. They have 503 points. With an aim of claiming both world titles for the second consecutive year, Red Bull now lead second-placed Mercedes by 256 points. Aston Martin are in the third position with 196 points.

Despite starting from sixth place on the grid, Max Verstappen did not face much trouble in winning this year’s Belgian Grand Prix. Just like this year, Verstappen won last season’s Belgian Grand Prix also having conceded grid penalties. Verstappen had won last year’s race starting from P14 on the grid.

Belgian Grand Prix 2023 triumph marked the 25-year-old’s eighth consecutive win this season. Verstappen will need one more win to match Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine victories on the trot. Vettel had achieved this feat back in 2013. Overall, Verstappen has won 10 races in the current season so far. Verstappen’s brilliance at the Belgian Grand Prix also helped Red Bull in extending their record to 13 straight victories, which include last year’s final race as well.

Following a summer break, the Formula One season will resume with the Dutch Grand Prix on August 27. Talking about the break, Verstappen told the news agency Associated Press, “I just want to have a nice time now, have a bit of time with family and friends.” Meanwhile, Perez said, “It’s been a bit of a rough patch. I really need this summer break, it’s been really intense. I’ll come back really strong for Zandvoort.” Ten more races are scheduled to take place this season after the Formula One break.

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