Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa, 2020

Verstappen has more determination than any driver I’ve ever worked with – Horner

2020 F1 season

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he’s never worked with a driver with great self-belief than Max Verstappen.

Seven races into the 2020 F1 season, Verstappen is second in the world championship between the two Mercedes drivers. Horner, who has worked with drivers such as four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel in the past, says that shows the high level Verstappen is performing at.

“It’s very difficult to compare drivers but he’s outstanding,” Horner told RaceFans in an exclusive interview. “I’ve never met a driver with more self-belief, self-assurance and determination.

“The level at which he’s now operating is outstanding. What he’s achieved with the car which, quite bluntly, we’re not as quick as a Mercedes, so to be beating a Mercedes and charging for grand prix wins and obviously winning that race at the Silverstone a couple of weeks ago is a huge testimony to Max.

“So he’s right up there. You can’t compare him with a Vettel, you can’t compare him with Ricciardo or what any of the others have been through.”

Verstappen signed a new contract with Red Bull during the off-season which will keep him at the team until the end of 2023. Red Bull must continue to “provide the right environment” for Verstappen to thrive, says Horner, in order for him to take advantage of the new technical regulations which will arrive in 2022.

“He believes in the team, he enjoys working in that team,” said Horner. “He sees what we’re doing. He sees that 2022 is going to be very different. So we have to believe in each other.”

Horner is hopeful the banning of ‘quali modes’ this weekend will help Verstappen get on terms with the Mercedes drivers.

“We’ve got regulation changes coming like, for example, next weekend, where qualifying modes disappear. The power units are converging – or had been converging prior to this year. So let’s see.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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92 comments on “Verstappen has more determination than any driver I’ve ever worked with – Horner”

  1. He believes in the team, he enjoys working in that team. He sees what we’re doing. He sees that 2022 is going to be very different. So we have to believe in each other.

    TBH Horner sounds a little bit worried Max may have other ideas.
    Meanwhile, Spa was an excellent race for Gasly and Ricciardo, both of whom seem to have rediscovered their ‘self-belief’ (bit of a Horner theme) after being told just how great they weren’t by Red Bull.

    1. Ricciardo chose to leave after Red Bull offered him everything he asked for, and within 2 years he signed for another team…

      Gasly is still part of Red Bull and has been allowed to develop himself into the driver you see right now, instead of being kicked out of the organization entirely.

      In both cases, Red Bull has shown a willingness and interest to invest in the drivers…

      1. Everything he asked for EXCEPT to be treated fairly by the team. VER caused the collision in Baku and the team tried to blame RIC, same nonsense they did in Turkey 2010. The writing was on the wall.

      2. Well Red Bull alienated Dan by obviously being more excited about Max, and in Baku in particular where Max clearly moved twice to take them both out, after a lot of very aggressive driving, and yet the team blamed them both equally.

        So then they had to promote Gasly and they judged him hastily and harshly, that’s pretty obvious too. They do invest in drivers, tho Max came from Mercedes, but it’s not necessarily well judged.

        Now of course Mercedes can have any driver they want once contracts come up, and it’s pretty clear that when Lewis retires the best driver is going to be Max. So Christian could well find he’s helpfully been nurturing Toto’s next hyperstar :)

        1. and it’s pretty clear that when Lewis retires the best driver is going to be Max – try Lando

        2. @zann Nobody was forcing DR to be right on Max’s bumper at that point. I recall MV and DR having a fun interview on a boat ahead of one of the races a few races later, and they were joking (being light hearted) about the incident (not being flippant about the points lost for the team though) and admitting together that they were both too greedy at that point. Ie. that’s racing sometimes and then you move on. So yeah they were both blamed equally on the team because it takes two to tango and because as a team principal that’s what you do whenever possible so you don’t alienate one driver by picking sides. By all accounts Max and Danial only ever got along very well and were able to put differences on the track aside quite quickly and focus on the next race. They not only didn’t alienate DR, they thought they had offered him everything he wanted and were shocked he decided on Renault. That sound like they were alienating him? You’d think if that was what they were doing they not only would not have been shocked at his move, but they would have expected it.

          Of course you might be right that CH is nurturing someone else’s next hyperstar, but then that’s unavoidable and happens all the time. LH had Mac, MS had Benetton, Senna had Lotus Etc etc. Let’s see where things stand as 2023 progresses and Max is needing a new contract somewhere or other.

          1. Yes Dan gets on with Max @robbie and doesn’t bear grudges. That’s not the same thing as feeling the team is on the other guy’s side tho. Max moved twice, closed off the space that had been there and caused the dangerous double DNF all on his own. Of course he was young and bold, Dan can get over it, that doesn’t mean Dan didn’t get the message about the team and what the future had in store if he stayed there.

            Yes it happens and yes we have to see. But I think we’re allowed a little sarky smile that Christian sacrificed a great driver on the altar of young Max, and at the critical moment Max might jump ship into the arms of Christian’s bff Toto :)

          2. @zann Fair comment but I won’t be sharing a sarky smile as I disagree that CH sacrificed a great driver. They did everything they could to keep him.

          3. @robbie @zann
            I tend to agree with robbie at Baku, I’ve always felt that was 50/50 with DR a bit more at fault (he tried to sell a dummy right, Max barely shifted on the road, then DR tried diving left and by then was too close and quick to brake when he realized there wasn’t room. I recall Ross Brawn blaming the aero removing downforce and thus braking power from the car behind, but still Ricciardo should have anticipated that).
            On the other hand, true, RBR offered DR a good package, but he was clearly put out by the way everyone was talking about Max and how the team were swooning over him. Particularly the big boss and Horner. So he was justifiably worried what that meant for his prospects. We can’t just forget Webber v. Vettel and how that went for Webber. Certainly Ricciardo would remember (being Australian and all). That’s where team management skills come in. It’s not about saying positive stuff and offering a nice new contract. It’s also about down toning some of the hype around the other driver maybe. Not a Red Bull speciality. As for Gasly, I watched the Netflix doc series and it’s the same thing. Horner says positive stuff, but there’s a strong background air of impatience and negative comparison with Max. There’s also a comment he made to Albon at Spa that frankly left me shocked in its lack of sensitivity but for the same reasons I don’t feel like mentioning it. Enough to say, if I were Albon, I wouldn’t have been inspired by it. So it left me wondering what does happen in these intra-team dialogues and that it really must be tricky being the ‘number two’ there. Hence my comment about DR and Gasly looking good at Spa.

          4. I should add that I think Ricciardo should have braved the arrival of MV and stayed at Red Bull. Not quite as fast, but fast enough to be close and a very fine driver in races. I understand his loss of confidence, though. He was maybe naive thinking he could ‘do a Hamilton’ and move to a resurgent team as the star driver, but understandable too, if miscalculated (though Renault maybe are improving this year, difficult to tell with Ferrari’s collapse).

          5. Dan was on his bumper because he was the faster driver that day. He was in prime position to break late and take the corner, then max moved for a second time, reduced the aero efficiency of Dans car and increased his breaking distance to somewhere in the middle of Max’s gearbox. No one seems to remember the rest of the race, max tried to put both cars in the wall a number of times. There’s no doubt that Max has incredible talent, but this sort of media outburst is a bit odd. Dan stayed at RBR for 5 years, and was never given a car that could challenge for championships, in fact none of them looked anywhere near as competitive as this years car, but he still provided wins for the team. Ric himself has stated a number of times of losing the love for RBR being a driving factor in leaving the team, you don’t leave a place of employ where you feel for lack of a better word, loved. They went from having the strongest driver pairing on the grid to having one car on the grid most days, the second car has mostly been far behind max, at least dan was on his bumper…

          6. He tried to sell a dummy right, Max barely shifted on the road…
            Yup – not positioning to take the racing line, not positioning to defend the inside just looking in his mirrors in order to take Ric straight up the tailpipe. He did the same thing at Silverstone and collected a stunned Vettel in much the same way.

        3. I think you need to study the rules of racing…. Max moved twice, but what does the rules say about that…?

          “a driver is allowed to make one defensive move on the straight and back to the racingline, leaving at least one car’s width to the side of the track”

          That’s exactly what Max did and what a lot of F1 fans can;t get their head around… they count two moves and shout ‘penalty’, however the rules allow two changes of direction and it was for that reason he wasn’t penalized.
          It’s a pity though some Ricciardo fans can’t accept defeat… 2017 was writing on the wall for everyone who had the courage to look what happened on track before either driver DNF-ed

          1. Nobody outside of Red Bull put that incident as 50/50. Verstappen made a mistake and the team paid the price. I don’t think one incident made Ricciardo leave but a collection like that where it was pretty clear who the team favoured. The team had no number 1 policy when Vettel and Webber were there but they clearly favoured Vettel and Ricciardo saw the writing on the wall.

            So far Ricciardo’s stock has not dropped but he’ll need to prove his worth at Mclaren against Norris who is proving capable.

          2. Verstappen did NOT move back to the racing line. He move to the inside of the corner to block Ricciardo. So that’s the opposite of what the rule you quoted allows

            Apart from that he moved more than twice since he already moved once more on the straight before.

          3. Simply untrue, all happened well before the corner and Max in total moved no more than ~1 meter across, that’s why the FIA mentioned ‘subtle moves’. another sweet reminder…Max overtook Dan twice that race, a faster in and out lap made him come out in front of Dan again, rather unexpected. The incident was a combination of factors, Tow + DRS, sudden loss of downforce and making the the actual move to late in combi with Max’ subtle defensive moves

            People overlook it wasn’t RBR that made the verdict, it was the FIA… I am quite sure the FIA doesn’t favor Max over Dan…

            Baku is always used a s the prime example of tow why Dan left

      3. SadF1fan, whilst you say that “Red Bull has shown a willingness and interest to invest in the drivers” when talking about Gasly, the reality was that the team had no choice but to persist with Gasly because of their insistence of only hiring drivers from their own junior team.

        In 2019, Red Bull did not have a single driver within their junior team who was eligible for a superlicence – every single driver they had fell far short of the minimum requirements – and, even now, they only have a single driver who could apply for a licence, which is Juri Vips. However, Vips is only just over the 40 point threshold right now (on 42 points), and he is currently on course to fall below that 40 point threshold once he cannot use his results from 2017 (I believe he’ll drop down to 35 points) – so, unless Vips gets a superlicence before the year is out, he’s not going to be an option in 2021.

        Even if you look at the list of former drivers whom Red Bull recruited into their junior programme and then discarded, there is nobody left who can get a superlicence. Having discarded Brendon Hartley in 2018, Red Bull only had two options left in 2019 – Alex Albon and Sebastian Buemi – and, with Buemi locked into a role as development driver and official reserve driver, Albon was the only one left whom Red Bull could call up.

        They were kind of lucky that Albon did manage to secure those vital superlicence points in 2018 that allowed him to enter F1 in 2019 – if not, Brendon Hartley would probably still be driving for Toro Rosso now. If they want to hire a driver from their junior team in 2021, their only option is to hope that Tsunoda manages to hold onto 3rd place in the Formula 2 championship – he is the only one who might be able to pick up enough superlicence points this year.

        In that respect, Marko has given a hint that some of Red Bull’s “generosity” is as much down to the fact that they have to make do with their current driver line ups at both teams. Unless Red Bull break their current policy of only hiring from their own junior programme, their current policy is driven by the necessity of keeping hold of the only drivers they can currently put into the cockpit of their cars.

        1. @anon: and how does that diminish in anyway from being interested and willing?

          Red Bull offers a junior programme no other racing team does. They fast track youngster through their junior career with the maximum support possible, with an actual outlook to making it to an F1 team.

          For that opportunity they ask maximum commitment in a cutthroat environment.

          As a Mercedes junior you are 100% certain that you will never make it to the main team. The last Mercedes Junior to drive for an Mercedes F1 team is Michael Schumacher.
          And at Ferrari the situation is quite similar, no junior has stood a chance once they decided that Bianchi and Leclerc would be the future of Ferrari.

          As a young driver the choice that Red Bull offers really is the only realistic choice of a career.

          1. SadF1fan, this would be the same junior driver scheme that some former drivers have described as being rather exploitative in nature (and, let’s be frank, there have been a lot of drivers over the years that Red Bull have dumped along the way)?

            Have Red Bull really been that “willing and interested” in investing in the development of their drivers? For quite a long time, quite a few other teams noted that Red Bull’s drivers didn’t really seem to have particularly exceptional off track skills – if anything, quite a few didn’t want them because they felt they were less well trained than other drivers.

            Is it really a good thing either to have drivers so tightly bound to a single team (the “maximum commitment in a cut-throat environment” that you so praise)?

            Furthermore, has the system of junior driver programmes that Red Bull encouraged necessarily been a positive development for both Formula 1 and the junior series below it over the long term?

            The implementation of junior driver schemes might well be more of a negative development than a positive one, given that it has been a contributing factor towards the cost inflation that has caused so many problems in junior series. What we are mostly left with now are drivers who are either locked in to junior driver programmes, or a swathe of pay drivers – independent talented drivers have basically been driven out now.

  2. Interesting statement to make I wonder if the Vertappens are getting itchy feet? So Horner feels the need for a bit of a public pep talk?
    The problem of course is MV is facing a couple of genuine rivals in the next two yrs. Ricciardo and Norris, Alonso and maybe Ocon next yr I think. 2022 when Russel seems likely to make his move. And of course Hamilton staying around for a little while yet. A whole bunch of top drivers in very competitive cars, things getting a bit crowded at the top. Some very good racing to come I think.

    1. @johnrkh I doubt that MV has itchy feet, for where better for him to be if he can’t be at Mercedes? He wouldn’t be splitting the Mercs in any other car. As well, I doubt Max needs a public pep talk. From what CH is saying Max is a walking pep talk for himself. Everyone on the grid (LH excepted for the time being and depending on the track) needs to worry about Max, especially as they improve their package, which they usually do at at least the same rate as most others.

      1. I am talking next yr @robbie and looking at the trajectories of the Renault and McLaren teams combined with the driver talent. I absolutely think RB including the Verstappens are a little worried. I as you know do not believe MV is the GOAT in the known universe. But you know what, I think he would be taking the up coming challenges very seriously and obviously looking forward to them.

        1. @johnrkh Fair comment. For sure I doubt they take the competition lightly. Not sure that I’d use the word worried though. More like aware of, prepared for, up for. They’re aiming for the benchmark being LH’s car, so they certainly expect to stay between him and the competition in aiming for the top. Not sure that next year anyone else might split the Mercs, but yeah if that happens there’s going to be some great racing going on.

    2. I think he is just being asked questions and these are his answers.

    3. I think people are too quick to judge.
      Renault was a little closer to RBR than usual. On other circuits they are still lapped, same goes for McLaren.
      I think Renault will challenge RBR on Monza, they already were very quick there last year.
      But after Monza, there will be a bigger difference between Renault/McLaren and RBR is my guess.
      Also, my feeling tells me that Alonso is no quicker than Ricciardo, so no change there. (Depending on my last point)

      The only thing that can influence the outcome next year, the Mercedes motor in the McLaren…. and
      I wonder how the no-party-mode-rule will affect the outcome of the different teams and their positions.
      It could be that in Monza some changes can be seen already, and my guess is that Mercedes is the team which looks least affected
      (my opinions, I tried to emphasize with my use of words :-))

      1. JohnEver Fair summation.

  3. Verstappen will probably never be champion with RBR, so it’s natural that he will look at other options. He knows that he is using this team as a ladder until that chance comes up. I dont think he ever got an offer from Mers, otherwise he would have accepted it, he is probably waiting for that opportunity, and RBR is currently the next best chance ATM anyway.

    1. Thought he had opportunities with Mercedes but decided on RB? And if had made that decision he would have jumped the queue when Rosberg retired and would have been in his 4th season in a Merc.
      With Bottas on only one year contracts it makes you wonder why both Max and LeClerc agreed to long term contracts elsewhere.
      Although as both almost certainly have performance clauses in their respective contracts, maybe its LeClerc who will be in prime position for a future Merc contract?

      1. Max did have opportunities with Mercedes before signing with Red Bull. The thing was that Marko offered him a seat in the Toro Rosso from the go, whereas Mercedes wanted him to mature a bit more in F2 first. According to Verstappen Snr, Ferrari also reached out, but at that point Red Bull and Mercedes had already been far more serious with them —apparently a case of too little, too late.

        1. We all know what happened to Mercedes junior drivers…. they don’t get to driver a Mercedes ;-)

  4. if Red Bull can’t make Verstappen do the definitive leap from occasional race winner to definitive championship contender in ’22, there’s no amount of praise and compliments from Horner that are going to keep him there.

    1. Possible, but they have through 2023, and then it will depend on what other options there might be. But as Horner is well aware and has just said, they have to continue what they have been doing which is to provide an atmosphere in which Max can thrive ie. he’s well aware it is not praise and compliments that will keep him there.

  5. Horner needs to be reminded of Seb: as determined as they come, when he is in a good place mentally and has the team round him as top dog.

    1. yeah it’s like he forgot that Seb gave them 4 championships when he was at his best…

      1. @nickthegreek Actually Vettel was full of mistakes in those seasons too. For 2009 his crashing meant he did not score points for 3 out of the first 6 races. People pretend Button only won because the Brawn was so dominant, but reality was that the main competitor was just out for half of those few races throwing away the championship in the process. In 2010 he got the name “Crash Kid”

        1. Yes sure you win 4 championships crashing all the days. What a joke!

        2. yeah i don’t think i agree with this comment. I’m not saying that he didn’t crash in 3 races in 2009 , I’m just saying that he was amazing in Toro Rosso & RedBull. I’m not saying this is a fact, just my opinion, many people don’t agree

  6. Kinda makes you wonder what RBR could do with the WCC with VER and RIC…

  7. There is the possibility that Verstappen becomes the next Stirling Moss, that’s certainly no insult Moss was definitely one of the greats across multiple driving disciplines. It’s just that there are no guarantees.

  8. @johnH funny that thought came to me as well.

  9. I would like to see just how good verstappen is with some real on track competition vying for position. Wheel to wheel racing. Ive seen ricciardo, hamilton, vettel, and others over the years and with vettel being the exception sone guys race craft (wheel to wheel) is just amazing.

    1. If you haven’t seen Verstappen fighting on track battles for positions, you haven’t been watching F1 for the past five years…

    2. I’d recommend trying to find a recording of Brazil ’19. It’s actually a great race to watch for a lot of reasons.

      1. I like the 18 race. Particularly that chap out front taking 9 seconds out of everyone without a single mishap. Oh and winning in the wet. Yet all eyes were elsewhere.

        It was a Merc so must be his engine though… as if there was only one.

        At this moment – there really is only one.

        1. I guess you’re at the other end of the spectrum then :-)

          1. Amongst others, Max had a couple of really good tussles with Leclerc and came out ahead both times.

    3. Check last year’s race in Spa or Mexico. Verstappen has some good moves there. Monza was good too. Especially the first corner after the start. Hungary was also good. He shows some cool tough defensive moves and then great pace while on a long stint. Although strangely enough he runs out of tyres well before the end of the race. Monaco he was really good in the pit lane. Amazing how me muscled past Bottas.

  10. Horner is so in love with Max. Geri should probably be worried.

    1. @search u right. I had a brain freeze there. I have seen him tussle.

  11. Verstappen is on another level to everyone else and we haven’t seen this level of talent since Schumacher. The Red Bull had no business competing for wins at all this year.

    Whether he’s as good as Schumacher is a different question. I suspect not quite because he lacks Schumacher’s consistency lap after lap, race after race, season after season but that could be due to age. He’s definitely quicker than Hamilton for raw pace (which is Hamilton’s strength because consistency isn’t).

    1. I think Hamilton is quite good.

      1. @redearedrabbit Hamilton is no doubt good, but his machinery makes him look better than he is. Back when his car wasn’t dominant he was about level with the other top drivers. Verstappen has consistently stood out above the rest. He made his share of mistakes, of course, but now he’s matured a bit there is little doubt he’s the best F1 driver of this generation, and I’d even rank him above Schumacher, who (like Hamilton), had dominant machinery.

        1. Schumacher converted dominant machinery into Championships from 2000-2004.
          From 94 to 99 he was just a head above everyone else.

          1. @magon4 fair enough then, yes

    2. Gotta love this completely baseless claims.
      Wasn’t Verstappen the one that threw a pole position away less than a year ago for failing to slow down to flags?

      Great consistency right there. Guy have half a dozen opportunities a year to win a race, blows half of that, but is a genius because the guy in the sister car is running for 8th.

      1. What did Lewis do at the first race this season again….?

        1. Got involved in a debatable incident with a driver that had at least another 2 similar contacts on the next couple of races.

          Verstappen did his stuff alone and that wasn’t up to debate.

          1. That’s something to debate about :)

    3. HAM is not consistent? 93 pole positions, 157 podiums, 6 championships. Seems pretty consistent to me.

    4. What Verstappen is doing now is exactly what Vettel did in ’15, and Ferrari even had some competition from Williams and Red Bull that year, whereas Red Bull has none today.

      I really think you’re praising him for very little. His car is good, his team gives him everything they got. Of couse he’s going to be able to split the black cars sometimes, that’s what their objective.

      You talk like Red Bull, being the 2nd best car, have to content with the 3rd place always, and every time Max goes beyond that, be it for a puncture or slow start from Bottas, or blisters affecting their cars, that’s all down to him. It’s obviously not like that.

  12. I think because of Max’s age he finds himself in a car good enough to win a championship with. He’s got 10 years minimum if he retires very early. Probably has 15 years left maybe 17 years.

    He’s probably got a couple tenths on someone like Hamilton, so he just needs RBR to be within a couple of tenths of Mercedes to be competing every weekend for wins.

    1. I like what he brings to the track. Most of the time when he’s around stuff happens. And most of the time it’s really really good stuff. The only one troubling the Mercs. Yes, all credit for that.

      But you can’t just claim he’ll have ‘a few tenths on HAM’. Or ‘in the same car would beat HAM’.
      I’d love to see it happen, don’t get me wrong. But those are bold statements and unfounded. We just don’t know.

      1. People always underestimates the equipment of a driver without a reference on the sister car.
        This guy trully believes Verstappen is that much better than Albon, and that Albon is as good or better than Bottas and would give Hamilton major trouble. And that Hamilton won 89 races by not even being that good to begin with.

      2. The thing is, to be fair we’d have to imagine a Max in his seventh year in the dominant car that fits him like a glove. That’s the LH we’re experiencing. Yeah with that in mind I have not a single doubt that Max couldn’t be doing what LH has done and is doing now, given the same car and time with it.

        1. Robbie

          Come on!

          Your now Bondo!

          Seven years in a dominant car? What are you even thinking?

          Break down the years. I will give you 14-15 despite being split by Ferrari. You know, there is two Merc!

          17 nope.

          18 – for goodness sake Hamilton was way behind at the halfway mark.

          19 – you have seen the results of how Ferrari lets just call it interesting approach caused an all out effort from Merc that has actually made team members illness and the top engine guy to part company.

          RB and Honda are hardly a hundred seconds a lap behind. Given the current placement, one could argue the real talent in the game or at least the best is where he is because he has that extra over others.

          I watched him. In real time. Against 40 others 10 of whom are in F1. I have also watched the fast tracked MV (have you ever wondered why he has not completed a season racing?) his dad did a blinder of getting him 8nto F 1 and his results should be applauded but until he has a few let alone one championship against what is stacking up to be the best ever all the car excuses in the world are just that.

          CH needs to stop with the SV type support and tell it like it is or we could see the waste of a great talent just like his dad.

          1. Mercedes car and team were the best since 2014….
            I think over a full season there is no other team that came close, not in 2017, not in 2018, not in 2019.

            Hamilton is an exceptional talent, absolutely no doubt.
            But you can’t compare 2 drivers if they are not in the same car.
            If’s and but’s…. I think IF Ricciardo would have been in de Mercedes for that period, he would have had the same amount of WDC’s as Lewis won, same goes for Alonso, same goes for Verstappen (if he was a little older, in 2014 he was 16), and who knows who else.
            I think the driver (in this case Hamilton) is given too much credit and/or Mercedes too little.

            But not to undermine Hamiltons talent, he is an absolute tier 1 driver. I know what he has done and achieved in the past as well. He will be in the history books for a long time. Good for him!

          2. JohnEver Ferrari were well ahead in 2017 and 2018 mid way through the season. That was with Vettel blundering even early on in the season. Yes they had the faster car. It’s only that Vettel managed to totally collapse when the pressure got to him in both seasons that Hamilton ran away so easily with those championships in the end.

            For 2019 what about races like Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Monaco, Hungary, Russia, Japan and Mexico where Leclerc, Vettel or Verstappen had the fastest car but managed to throw away those wins. While Hamilton won in Mexico driving the third fastest car.

            Races where Mercedes didn’t win they did not have the fastest car either. Like Austria, Spa, Monza, Singapore and Brazil. Ferrari and/or Red Bull were clearly faster. Only Germany should have been won by Hamilton, but they put him on fresh slicks just as it started to pour while he was driving ill to begin with.

            2019 was probably Hamilton’s best season, but it was so good that people can’t even realize how good it was.

          3. Re 2017, I just remember not ever really feeling like Ferrari had Merc’s number. Like Mercedes weren’t going to have an answer. Were LH fans actually concerned? Quaking in their boots? With the kind of bravado they have, did they not think like me that it takes a season? They must have been thinking Merc and LH will get on it, no?

            By race 11 SV had won 4 races but the two Mercs had won 6, LH matching SV, DR 1. So yeah points were a bit spread around and it looked like a fight. It wasn’t exactly like the Mercs were no longer win-level cars though.

            Over the last 9 races Merc/LH took over, with LH winning 5 of the next 6. SV won 1 and had 2 DNFs. This is the half that gets ignored when LH fans take the ‘he had strife’ route. Easy to make it sound like LH had strife in 2017, but he was always in it, and his fans certainly were in it with him, and only now want to make it sound harder than it was. LH wins by 46 points over SV.

            2018, much the same. Seb looks a threat early on with 4 wins in the first 10 races, 2 to start the season, and everyone’s a’twitter about the competition to LH, but LH wins 3 of the first 10, only one less than SV, the rest RBR. Again a lot of points sharing and Seb looks in it for the WDC. Any of LH’s fans think their man is toast at this point? Merc/LH never have an answer in the second half of a season? Come on, LH goes on to win 8 of the last 11 races, Seb 1, none in the last 8 races. Yeah LH fans must have been ready to throw in the towel. LH wins by 88 points over SV. Again, the half of the season that gets ignored when the ‘LH didn’t have the best car’ brigade comes out.

            Bottom line, it is convenient for some to look back and portray strife for LH in the first half of those two seasons, like he had a real mountain to climb and achieved a great feat in those seasons, but fans of LH/Merc must have at the time had great confidence at their man’s resilience and strength and talent and that of the team, and weren’t doubting him at any time. After all, it’s not like he didn’t have a race winning car even in the first halves of those two seasons, and if I had claimed to many here that LH was toast, after seeing Seb’s first halves, all of LH’s and Mercs virtues would have been thrown at me with full force. Me thrown to the troll brigade. “You’ll see,” I’d have been told.

            So, sore winners, cry the blues all you want for LH and the ‘strife’ he had to undergo in 2017 and 2018, but there isn’t a driver in the history of F1 that wouldn’t take the kind of seasons, and especially second halves, that LH had in those two seasons. LH wins by 46 points in 2017 and 88 in 2018. Boo Hoo;) Poor guy had to sweat a bit in his winning car until they really got it winning.

            But nah, Ferrari had the best car. You can just tell by the numbers of wins and the points in the WCC standings. 20-10 for LH over SV for the two seasons. 23-11 with VB’s 3 wins and KR’s 1. WCC points 668-522=+146 in 2017, and 655-571=+84 in 2018.

  13. Once Hamilton breaks all of Schumacher records max will be the one who Beats all of the records 10 years later. He will be able to win all races in a season without those mercedes and once Hamilton retires nobody can come close to beating him.

    1. @f1fan-2000 As a Max fan that sounds great, but I suspect that even someone as good as Max is going to have a hard time beating those records in the new F1 post-BE that will be designed to not have such a run of dominance again. The top teams are being curtailed, the bottom teams helped out, and the cars meant to be more driver vs driver than engineering team vs engineering team.

      Put another way, if Max dominates like that it will be relatively more to do with his driving and he will have achieved those numbers in a much harder fought way due to the new direction of F1.

      1. Ok I will leave it here.

        If you really think that then you need to watch the last 30 years and see a few races.

        A statement like that is actually quite sad. Do you not see the sheer number of regulations and regulation changes just in 15 years let alone the last five or the Pirelli years are exactly that? Drag everybody down to a minimal level for the show?

        Look at the 19 effort? That went well.

        Robbie talent will get through given a chance. The suggestion that year after year of slowing down the front runner (not even the team frankly) ends in mediocrity winning.

        The fact Pirelli are still there suggests your optimism is unfounded.

        1. You know you have lost it completely by now.

        2. Drg I have watched the last 30+ years. Not sure your point. My point is about the new set of regs that have the cars no longer held back from racing in the pinnacle of racing due to dirty air. That is going to bring the cars closer on the track and cause for much more driver vs driver action, vs processions.

          I guess you rue the regs and the direction they have gone, but they have had to be curtailed from places they perhaps should never have gone with which to begin. I’m absolutely fine with this necessary rebalancing, this reset, and let’s go from there.

          1. You have me wrong Robbie

            I am for the ref changes.

            However without the things that hold it on the road being changed very little will improve.

            They are the limiting factor and will remain so while Pirelli use thermal degradation via chemical composition in thee chase for economy because they pay F1 for the tyres. Something never done before.

    2. “Once Hamilton breaks all of Schumacher records max will be the one who Beats all of the records 10 years later”

      I’m not too sure about this. With changes in regulations come wrt “cost caps” and plenty of efforts to “equalise” the field, I doubt we will get the level of dominance seen from Merc these last 7 years.

      First of all, Merc’s initial PU advantage will dissipate as other manufacturers catch up, legitimately (cough Ferrari cough).

      Secondly, although I’m quite pessimistic about the cost cap, I think there will be some effect. I dont think we’ll be seeing Alfa Romeo and Alpha Tauri fighting for wins, but the likes of RP, Renault and Mclaren will certainly be mixing it in with the Mercs, RBs and Ferraris (they will come good eventually).

      Thirdly, the driver lineup on the grid will be extremely competitive. The current crop we have are possibly the best since the mid to late 2000s. With MV, LN, DR, CL, CS, EO and of course LH, couple with close competitive cars, we may have a 2010 or better still 2012 on our hands on a regular basis.

      One can dream right?

      1. @jaymenon10 yes but discounting Mercedes red bull has been the next fastest car on the grid for since 2009 and despite the cost caps they have the stronghold and experience in efficient car development. Red Bull will definitely be up there fighting for championships and that’s where Verstappen will make the difference. Fighting with Mercedes when Albon is fighting the midfield? I can’t imagine him not taking every pole and win season by season once the 2022 cost cap is in place.

  14. Don’t worry Horner, Max will not leave redbull. You can stop unnecessarily burning bridge with other Drivers now.

    Vettel had less determination? He ditched you for Ferrari. 😀😀😀😀
    Ricciardo? He ditched you because of your choice of words.

    You got dumped twice and now you are stuck with a unproven Max in any sort of title fight and OJT team mates.

  15. In 2023 Max will be in F1 for nine years, and will be knocking on the door of retirement. Tired and wanting release after Hamilton’s 10th champinsip and handover to George Russel in the Merc. No point in facing another 5 years as George becomes 5XWDC.

    1. Watch out for that elephant :)

  16. we’re not as quick as a Mercedes, so to be beating a Mercedes and charging for grand prix wins and obviously winning that race at the Silverstone a couple of weeks ago is a huge testimony to Max.

    He clearly had the fastest car at that 70th anniversary race over the race distance though.

    1. He definitely was the fastest driver. The fastest cars chewed tires for breakfast.

  17. Verstappen had the biggest ever headstart to achieve some age-related records and still lost the pole position one despite almost 3 full seasons in cars in which Ricciardo did set pole position more than once.

    The WDC one is going away as well as it needs to be this year. Starting next season he will be older than Vettel in Adu Dhabi 2010 and with 6 full seasons under his belt, hardly a newcomer.

    1. But still the most talented driver. So I do not see your problem. Becoming wdc is his goal. Becoming the youngest wdc ever is something rbr likes.
      But you still need a fast car for that.

      1. You should send him a trophy for most talented driver then, because FIA won’t.

  18. Just a simple thing that he will compete on the simracing scene speaks volumes in itself for me. Most would be afraid to be shown up there.

    I’m sure he would give Hamilton a proper run if he was at Mercedes, but he does tend to blow a fuse too quickly so still not 100% ready for a championship campaign IMO.

    1. You seem to have missed the last two seasons then.
      Very mature and accepting the situation and making the best of it.

      1. Yes he’s definitely improving fast, but as we’ve heard he will even get upset with some of his engineer’s recommendations. You can imagine what it would be like after some dirty moves by a rival or a stupid steward decision at a crucial time.

    2. Verstappen like evey driver needs a partner that can push him, race with him and get under his collar. And over many years the statistics will prove what must be fact. Until then we have our opinions about just how good any driver is. I would prefer hamilton in my car just because of his track record (statistics).

  19. He’s 22 and currently 2nd in the DC; just saying; other than Lewis right now he’s the only driver F1 can’t afford to lose..

  20. And the hagiography continues, this time by insulting every other driver whom Horner has worked with.

  21. I suspect that Horner’s biggest concern at the moment is whether or not they can deliver a competitive car in 2022.

    The last time they had a supposed advantage was 2017 when changes in aero rules should have favoured them, or at least given them an opportunity to close the gap a little and they botched it. I’m pretty sure at that point Dan Ric started to seriously consider his future there.

    If they (read Adrian Newey) don’t design a top contender from the start of 2022, I suspect that Max might start looking around – by then he’ll have had a number of years driving 2nd or 3rd best and he’ll be wanting to see far more regular wins, or opportunities for wins, to keep him firmly at RBR. You can’t be as hungry as Max and settle for not good enough so to me the pressure will be really on the RBR design and engineering team to deliver or they will lose him.

    1. @dbradock For sure the Verstappen’s will be making enquiries in 2022 if not sooner. Hamilton has said he is in for at least another 3 yrs so that takes Merc out of the picture for Verstappen as I think 2022 Russel will make his move to Merc along side LH, I believe he’s seen as the heir apparat.
      I don’t follow F2 or F3 is there any talent that looks likely for F1 in 2023?

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