Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2022

No driver can match Verstappen in the same car right now – Horner

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has improved his performance to a level which his team principal Christian Horner doubts any rival could match, even in the same car.

The 25-year-old is now a two-times world champion after winning a record-breaking 15 of the 22 grands prix this year. He clinched this year’s title with four races to spare, despite technical problems which put him out of two of the first three races.

Horner believes his driver is in a class of his own at the moment. “I think Max is operating at a level that I’m not sure anybody, the way he’s driving at the moment in the same in the same equipment, will be able to the repeat what he’s done this year,” he told media including RaceFans after Verstappen won the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez narrowly failed to best Charles Leclerc to second place in the championship this year. Horner praised the Ferrari driver who has been Verstappen’s most consistent opponent during 2022.

“I have to say congratulations to Charles,” said Horner. “He’s driven extremely well this year, he obviously had a lot of bad luck as well, as well as our drivers at times. But he’s been a great driver to race against and always very fair and I think that for sure they’ll come back fighting hard next year.”

Sergio Perez won two races, achieved the first pole position of his career and finished on the podium 11 times on his way to third place in the championship. Horner said Perez and Verstappen raised their performance to new heights in 2022.

“Both of our drivers have had their best ever seasons in Formula 1,” he said. “Max has been truly outstanding this year he has made another step following that championship win 12 months ago and to think that he’s won 15 grands prix and two sprint races is, when I started there was only 17 races. It’s unbelievable.

“As a team, to have won 17 grands prix, five one-two finishes, first and third in the drivers championship, constructors world champions, I think 750-odd points in the constructors championship, we’ve broken all of our own records as well as Formula 1 records. Obviously there’s been some ups and downs in the season, but when you look at it as a whole, it’s been an outstanding year for the team.”

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2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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136 comments on “No driver can match Verstappen in the same car right now – Horner”

  1. Their only comparison is “make the tires last is my superpower” Perez, so no wonder they’ve signed Riccardo to keep him honest

    1. Considering how much faster the Red Bull was this year you have to wonder why Perez seemed like an after thought. He’s an very good driver, perhaps not absolute top rung but very much equal to the likes of Bottas, and should have always been in position to take an easy second but it seemed like Red Bull wasn’t interested in helping him to that, much like Repsol Honda in MotoGP is so focused on putting all their eggs in 1 basket no one else can do anything on their bikes.

      1. He’s no where near the 1 lap pace of Bottas.

      2. I think you made the right comparison Marc Marquez and Max Verstappen both on a different level than the competition.

        1. I disagree they’re on different levels of competition though will grant they’re good. However I find it hugely frustrating to watch a team so willingly ignore anyone other then their golden boy, Honda being an especially good comparison seeing as even when they brought in other top level talents they wouldn’t do anything to help them as their development was so heavily tailored to one person.

          1. Anyone who isn’t fanatical about one driver would admit that Max is great, but to say that no one else could do that is just moronic.

            Perez is a nice guy, but he’s never been known for his pace. He was dominated by Button at Mclaren and ultimately dropped by them. He’s had some good results in slower cars, but these are due to getting lucky on strategy more than raw pace. I’d honestly rate him in the bottom half of the grid, even as low as bottom 5, so let’s not get too carried away calling a dubious 2 x Champion the best ever.

            This year reminds me very much of 09 and Brawn. Verstappen has basically beaten someone worse than Barrichello for a championship.

            Put Lando, Russell, Hamilton, Alonso, Leclerc, Sainz in the exact same RedBull and Max wouldn’t dominate. Hell, throw Bottas or Vettel in the car and the results come much closer to 50/50 than the 90/10 they are with Perez.

          2. Indeed Ben, looking at Norris against Sainz and Ricciardo, I seriously doubt Verstappen would handle him as easily as his recent cannon fodder teammates. The thing is you’ll never get to find out as Verstappen will block Red Bull signing a equal driver.

          3. I 100% agree, there are a few drivers on the grid who would make Max look very nervous in the same car. Unless of course they alter the EM-Computer on the second car to make sure Max wasn’t pressured, especially as he tends to get very nervous about anyone getting close to him, or any imagined fault with his own car.

            Put Lewis, Lando, Russell or Sainz in an identical car and they’d prove that he was just as human as anyone else – he makes mistakes just like anyone else and 99% of this championship win was the car, same as it was for Lewis at McLaren and Mercedes or JB in 09. at Brawn.

    2. Perez will quit, Max is annoying

  2. He’s been in a league of his own since the beginning of 2019

    1. Too much of a hero worship attitude here.

      Reply moderated
    2. @kingshark Can’t take this comment serious.

      1. Well… Looking at Max’s results you have nothing to counter it do you? The guy has been phenomenal in both speed and consistency. And if you could get past your bias you would see the facts.

        1. Agree. One should get over one’s bias. But getting over the facts you shall not. The facts include records that are achieved not by his own speed and consistencies, but by blatant law breaking and assistance etc. You would not wish those facts repeated again here for your own sake, for fear they may hurt your sensibilities too much. Talking about “nothing to counter” – it’s important for CH to counter recent negative press surrounding how they won, how they refused to assist Checco, how CH bowed to Max’s demands and how upset Max was for not able to earn respects. One this is consistent – the shouting of how great they are and he is because those who consistently trust in facts must be bombarded with these noises.

          Reply moderated
        2. So what you’re saying is that it’s Max’s driving skills alone that made him win this year’s championship – or that it was simple skill that won LH. 7 Championships, and then totally lost his skills as soon as Max apparently gained his ?

          Rose coloured specs I think. Yes he’s brilliant, but so are all the rest, they have to be stunningly good just to get round the circuit, and are all arguably the best in the world, but to say that not a single driver could beat him even in an identical car is simply silly.

  3. Lando or Charles could keep Max honest in same car.
    George is more a Sainz; a smooth operator with the occasional high but not as quick while still error prone. Lewis is solid but I feel he isn’t as consistently quick anymore as 5 years ago.

    1. Tbh I wasn’t impressed by his 2017, was vettel level that year, it was in 2018 that he actually was more consistent, in 2017 he had some off weekends.

      1. Not consistent enough to break the record for wins in a Merc even more dominant than this year’s RB18. Not only that, he had plenty of goes to try.

        1. Albeit against better teammates in that Merc than Perez.

    2. I agree with your assessment, Lando is the next big thnk from UK not Russel whom I thnk is the next Jenson Button.

      Reply moderated
    3. Only Lando you could say keeping in check as both race in the same team. (But there Max has the advantage over Lando)

      The best is when all drivers drives 1 car (the same specs) doing 1 lap qualify and a stint of 20 laps to compare everyone.
      Then swap the car of the 2 best and do it again to keep it honest.

      1. I would pay to watch that MacLeod!
        Did you hear what Vettel said in that regard, about Kimi?

        1. Sorry i missed what Vettel said about Kimi? What did he say?

          Not sure if they are still online but there are some iracing with both of them racing eachother. I know not to same as real racing but it gives a indication what would happen in the real world.

      2. A bit like the title decider of the 1958 British Saloon Car Championship between Jack Sears and Tommy Sopwith:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1958_British_Saloon_Car_Championship

      3. Sounds a lot like Race of Champions

  4. “No driver can match Max in the same car…” which cars are really the same anyway. But its also debatable. Max has not had world champions as partners. Or proper championship condenders as yet. Also if the car is heavely designed amd set up to syite maxes driving style then that also distorts driver talent.

    1. He drove well when compared to ricciardo, in a car that suited him, he’s the strongest team mate he had so far.

    2. We have new aero regulations, new suspension regulations, new tyres.

      How did RBR specifically design the car for Max? What exact aspects oh his style were considered, and how would they manifest in the aero design of the car and the suspension (which has to be aero focused as well)?

      1. There are ways in which different drivers prefer different characteristics of cars. One that used to be talked about a lot was oversteer vs understeer. Understeer is usually easier to drive. An oversteering car can get into corners better, but there is more chance of the rear end swinging out of line under braking and causing more rear tyre wear. I remember an article about this explaining how Button much preferred an understeering McLaren, whilst Hamilton, like Schumacher, was clearly better in oversteering cars.

        Another issue is rake angle and wheelbase the way the car is lower at the front than the rear. Adrien Newey designed the Red Bull cars with high rake angles which gives more rear-end downforce in corners, but a bit more drag on the straights, with different handling and roll as a result. The opposite extreme of design was the Mercedes with the lowest rake. In 2021 the rules on rake angle were changed which meant Mercedes had to increase its rake angle, which completely changed the aero of the car, and which was probably the biggest single factor in closing the gap between the teams in 2021.

        There are other things as well, like engine mappings, the way the power curve changes in response to throttle, stiffness of suspension and the amount of yaw, things which mean a driver can just feel better in one car than another, but I really doubt that cars are ever designed specifically for the driver. It is possible that a driver like MV or LH ends up with a car better suited to their driving style just because they are better at understanding the car and giving usable feedback to the design team about the balalnce, the braking, etc, so that the car develops in a way that suits them. These top drivers are probably also better at adapting their driving styles to fit the car. For example, some years back, when the tyre rules changed, the armchair experts were saying this would be the end of Hamilton’s career as his driving style destroyed his tyres, but he showed he was very good at adapting his style to the new tyre rules.

        1. I know all that, my point is simply that these cars are built under a new set of technical regulations, thus specificity of driving style (which is very weird and hard to actually pin down). The idea RBR built a car with a totally new aero platform and simplified suspension to Max’s style is a bit far fetched.

          1. Well one might then take the changing fortunes of Perez versus Verstappen over the season as evidence that while initially the car didn’t suit Verstappen better (or even, it suited Perez better), the team admitted to developing in a direction that allowed Verstappen to get more and more out of it, while that made things harder for Perez Alan Dove.

          2. @bosyber

            The first 5 races were 3 wins for Max and two retirements (when he was in front of Perez). So this Perez was more suited to the car is somewhat a myth in my view.

            Also, the point being made is the car was ‘built’ for Max. If it came out of the box more to Perez’s liking that dispels the idea that engineers, in the design phase, especially under new aero regs, can be THAT specific.

  5. Another tale from Hans Christian Horner – do we have enough for a complete book now?
    All part of the tall tales series, trying to sell the idea that it isn’t the over-budget car.

    Honestly, LH beat him last year using a car that was slower, or on par. Subtract a dodgy race director from the equation.

    I want to see him up against other drivers in equal machinery, hopefully 2023 Ferrari stop screwing up and Mercedes come back to the party.
    Both have the RBR excess budget advantage to overcome though.

    1. “LH beat him last year using a car that was slower, or on par.”

      Talking about fantasy…

      But back to reality, Horner is right, Max is now operating on a level of a prime Schumacher or Senna. It’s easier to use Perez vs Bottas as a marker, and I think we can say that Perez is faster than Bot, so Max is dominating his teammate and elevating himself far higher than anything Ham ever did in comparison.

      1. Ha ha ha ha ha. Perez is no where near the 1 lap pace of Bottas, and I’m no Bottas fan.

        The only half decent person Max has faced is Danny Ric, who did really well the last two seasons. He didn’t exactly blow him away.

      2. Haha, that narrative of Lewis having a slower car got me in chuckles as well. It is clear to see the difference Max is making vs Perez, unlike some previous champions did when their nr 2 always followed them home and made sure they were covered for the pitstops. But no one around here will admit. Luckily there are more sites and countries out there enjoying this sport.

        1. davethechicken
          22nd November 2022, 9:57

          you can only compare people to their teammates. Max has dominated Perez, but then again Perez has never been considered one of the top drivers at any stage in his career. he also dominated Albon and Gasly, again midfield (at best) drivers. The anomaly is Riccardo who hands down out performed Max over a prolonged period of time. you can argue about Max being inexperienced but so was Riccardo. Ocon also beat Max to the F3 drivers championship 2014, pre F1 where the cars are much more comparable. He won the championship with 3 races to go, with Max finishing only 3rd.
          Putting aside the understandable hysteria in Holland around their first decent F1 driver, objectively Max can’t be considered a “once in a lifetime” at this point. Good driver no doubt, but until he is given him a proper top rated teammate to gauge against he hasn’t proved it and the evidence suggests otherwise.
          it is curious red bull are doing all they can to avoid this to date.

          1. @davethechicken

            you can argue about Max being inexperienced but so was Riccardo

            Ricciardo had his first full Formula One season in 2012, as well as about half of 2011. Verstappen made his debut for 2015. So Ricciardo had 3.5 seasons more experience than Verstappen did.

            Also, in 2014 F3, Verstappen may have finished 3rd, but he won 10 races, one more than Ocon. It was also Verstappen’s first season in single seaters, whereas it was Ocon’s third.

            And no one who’s got any sense truly believes that Ocon is ever likely to be WDC.

          2. You are of course right David, but that doesn’t change the results. Ocon could equally argue he won the most races when it mattered too, Max only getting close to him in the second half of that season when Ocon had a huge lead.
            The point is that there is clear evidence that other drivers were equal to or above at Max’s level in the past.
            None of them are driving a Red Bull so we simply don’t know.
            Hype to one side, I think there would be hardly anything between the top 5 or 6 drivers of the current batch. The best car always flatters the driver, whether it is Max or Lewis.
            The, ahem, “passionate” fans, think their chosen one is the always the Goat. And if they shout loudest it makes it true!

        2. It’s as bad as the narrative that ORBR haven’t had the best race car for most of the season as well.

          So many claiming it is not the best or fastest car over the course of a GP to big up Verstappen.

    2. Well in 2021 the cars of Merc and RB were more or less equal. Some circuits more for RB and some more for Merc. But after the update in Silverstone Merc were quicker on most tracks. Same as we have this year, Fer quicker in qualli and RB better in the race. The car is mostly the one eliment that makes the driver champion and not the other way around. So this year Max had a easier job than last year, manly because the car was better as the competition. Same goes for Lewis in the years before 2021.

    3. You’ve more or less hit the nail on the head I’d say. Horner wouldn’t be out of place in politics with the amount of gaslighting he does.

    4. Please do your homework and look at the statistics. The Red Bull certainly wasn´t the dominant car last year and even this year the car is not that dominant. Max could only achieve 7 poles this year with this so called “dominant car” (Charles 9 poles). Was that because Max is not a good driver? But how come he won 15 races then? Or maybe the car isn´t that dominant after all and it´s the driver that makes the difference? Think for yourself.

      1. I don’t think you understood the stats to come to that conclusion.

      2. A car can be the fastest in one lap or in the race — not both.

        1. We have seen different many years with Mercedes…

        2. 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 called to say they disagree with you on that

      3. RedBull had superior race pace owing to their superior downforce and mechanical grip. This means they could run a less draggy car and still take care of their tyres
        Qualifying doesn’t dictate dominance, Race day does

        1. We have seen different many years with Mercedes…

          1. Doesn’t mean the Red Bull wasn’t dominant. Race day is indeed what dictates dominance.

          2. What has been different is MB generally had a car that was not good following others. Once in front it could pull away but struggled on a lot of circuits Brazil the exception.

            To make comparisons with this years cars is futile, in my opinion, due to the fact they can run closer. DRS seems more powerful as well.

          3. Your only argument is the pole position one.
            Bu Verstappen was by far the fastest driver on Silverstone (made a mistake then had to slow down to a yellow flag), Singapore (team mistake), Spa (easy pole but it doesnt count due to a penalty).

            There, 10 poles, better than Leclerc already.

            And there’s obviously more, like Hungary that he had issues with the car and Ferrari was so bad at Q3 that a Mercedes ended up getting the pole. It would easily have been his.

            This talk about Red Bull not being dominant this year is insanity, pure and simple.

        2. I think track position was more important before 2022, so qualifying was more important
          With the new cars, overtaking is not that difficult anymore, and races can be won more easily from lower starting positions
          This applies when the cars are pretty equal in speed

    5. LH was only in the race for the championship because of Baku, Silverstone and Turkey where Max was taken out of contention (twice by Mercedes drivers) AND because Mercedes could afford to throw 6 engines at it…
      The rest of the season Max was on average superior.

      1. It was Max who used more restricted components last season. Perhaps that was part of the overspend. Such a dodgy year and team.

        1. You are wrong… Even though 2 engines where lost due to the crashes f om Mercedes drivers Max used no more than 4 Lewis used 5 engines even though he had no mechanical failures!

    6. You are mentioning the race director which cost Lewis 7 points. The extra DNF’s Max had make that an insignificant amount if you are using it to compare performance. Max was clearly the better driver to get the points he did with less races to do so. Don’t forget Lewis got a massive haul of points from 2 red flags ater his own human errors.

      1. G

        Max had thr better car, especially after the FIA helped them with the 2021 floor regulation to help Red Bull and to handicap Mercedes. Even Red Bull’s own car desginer Adrian Newey admitted it, you DTS Max fans really want to create a image that Max drove a backmarker car and fought against all odds, which is garnage. He drove the best car, failed and got help from Masi and Dereck Warwick.

  6. Blah blah blah… Beating a Perez in a car that was carved for Verstappen isn’t good a basis to make such silly claims.

    1. How does an aero design team under new technical regulations that place emphasis on ground effect, with the addition of new tyres, ‘carve’ out a car for a particular driver?

      1. Alan, I am sure you know Newey’s pedigree in ground effect. It long predates the current crop of F1 drivers and regs.

        1. … that doesn’t explain how he would design for Max’s ‘driving style’ though. How does that factor into the equation specifically?

          1. I don’t buy into the car designed specifically for a driver argument. I do think of all the engineers in F1, Newey is the one with decades of ground effect experience and definitely the best man to design the car. It is no coincidence the Red Bull didn’t porpoise. He understood that even before he put pencil to paper so to speak.

    2. Amian

      Well said. I am really tired of these Max fans polluting every comment section with their delusional claims, Perez isn’t really a bar of measurement, same as Albon and Gasly.

      1. There are many ways to evaluate a driver and how good a driver is. Being faster is difficult to measure, the same goes for passing and defensive actions (too aggressive or too easy on the straight, better car etc.). I think one way to define a good racer is to look at the unforced errors, I do think HAM makes too many in this year, and last year as well. He also made some wrong judgement calls for strategy. I do not believe that a driver who is fighting for a championship, that forgets to press (or pressed by accident) a magic button, is on top of his level. It will just not happen to any driver on this grid, whatever the reason is. And Masi did not make that button, Mercedes engineers did. Max is just extremely consistent and at the same time making many moves that entertain (like in Japan GP passing Leclerc on the outside with wet track conditions). Other drivers just cannot do that.

  7. Big words from Horner once again… we’d know of he was right if RB were brave enough to put a quality driver in the second seat, but they seem to run away from giving Max a challenge

  8. There are at least 5 drivers on the grid, capable to beat Verstappen in the same car.

    Reply moderated
    1. I’m interested to know which five you’d reckon could beat him (on average, since luck/reliability/flags are always a factor).

      Assuming they both drive a “pointy” car like the RB’s of recent years i’d pick: Leclerc/Alonso/Hamilton/Norris/Russel (in that order)

      LEC
      I think Leclerc lacks the consistency so far, but has the raw pace to match Max and outqualify him 50/50.

      ALO
      Alonso would probably be the hardest to beat over a season. Adaptive, experienced, fighter.

      HAM
      Hamilton usually has those 2-4 GP’s where he is mysteriously off the pace, which is enough to lose considering how close they seem on pace (P.S. Merc has understeer-y cars, but McLaren HAM loved a pointy fromt-end… so idk).

      NOR
      Similar to Leclerc, but less raw pace. Has the biggest change of braking behavior compared to RBR (worth a lot of time).

      RUS
      I rate George highly, but with how scarily consistent Max has been post Monaco 2019 that negates his main strength. Pace (especially in- and out-laps) seems to fall a bit short.

      Reply moderated
  9. Let’s face it, Verstappen doesn’t have the drive because he’s a decent person. I get the feeling RBR would like to get rid of him if someone else who has his driving ability was available to them.

    1. Without a second thought.

      1. Well who is out there than?

        1. Norris who they tried to sign twice. Horner knows where the real talent is for the future.

        2. Could be anyone, it’s not like Vestappen was well known 2 years before he was catapulted into F1.

  10. Davethechicken
    22nd November 2022, 9:26

    If that is indeed the case Christian, why don’t you poach a top driver to pair with Max. Sergio is a journeyman who was sacked by his last team and hired last minute by RBR. He would not still be in F1.
    After all Max would still beat then, right???? And easy 1-2 in WDC and walk the WCC.
    Or maybe actions speak louder than words.
    GR, CL, LN, FS and LH would all be interesting comparisons.
    Nearly everyone is aware you can’t compare drivers when they are not in the same equipment. Except of course CH.

    1. I don’t see any volunteers to step in next to Max and have their career ruined do you?

      1. Come on Woody, you can’t be being serious.
        Norris, Alonso, Leclerc, in fact most of the grid would fall over themselves to get a shot in the Red Bull. I think Hamilton would be worried as he has a legacy to taint but the others would be there in a flash.
        the reason they aren’t there is all to do with red bull and nothing to do with them being unwilling. If red bull wanted they could easily buy them out of contract.

        1. Haha buy them out. Like they are going to pay 50 mil for a driver (Salary and buy out) that might be as good as VER. No commercial company is going to take that risk if not needed.

          1. Erit, it has happened many many times in the past. There are always get out clauses. And if you were Lando or any other seriously talented driver you would bite the hand off at that chance. I mean you really believe if RBR came a knocking Lando et Al would say no?
            Red Bull chose their drivers, as do Merc. They could have anyone they want.

          2. Red Bull did try signing Norris, twice.

        2. Alonso please, that would be an exciting battle to watch!!

        3. If that is true then why did Redbull have to go with Perez. Norris wouldn’t go there, Hamilton wouldn’t dare risk it. Leclerc signed up for a long haul at Ferrari and Alonso didn’t go after the seat either.. Perez is finding out why.. Max crushes drivers and their careers suffer. Incredibly fast, incredibly consistent, almost flawless, impeccable tyre management… Trust me the others are rightly scared to step up. He’s hugely talented yesut he is also performing at an incredible high level for more that 2,5 years now.. the guy is a machine.

        4. What driver on the grid likes a car that rotates like Max does…. Then that would be the closest rival maybe if the speed and consistency are there too. Maybe Leclerc or Norris but they are both error prone compared to Max.

  11. As with Vettel in 2010-2013 MAx is driving the best car with a sizeable advantage over their competitors and a team mate with some major weeknesses. Perez has his moments but is best on rear limited circuits.
    Really until a driver like Alonso, Hamilton, LeClerc or Norris is paired with him. Apart from Daniel who as we have seen isnt exactly the most consistent comparison we really dont have a true measure of Max against anyone we would consider a top level driver.
    Could Max really dominate Ricciardo to same extent as Norris has, in their time at RBR together it was much closer?
    Could Max really be close to LeClercs incredible 1 lap and out and out pace, Given how good a driver Carlos has grown to be its difficult to see many drivers beating him as consistently?
    Could MAx go toe to toe with a team mate in the same team with the same machinery without team orders, We havent seen Max have to fight any top driver in the same team. Even Perez this year for 2 seperate 3 race spells was driving with a different spec car as Max recieved updates first in Silverstone & Spa.

    really until Max is paired with a top driver I am siding on he is very good but the car is mega. The best drivers in my eyes race the best team mates, Schumacher was great but he stacked the team baattle in his favour. Senna, Prost, Alonso, Hamilton have all raced in equal machinery on equal footing most of their careers against the best drivers on the grid regularly.
    Max has team orders, a car advantage and a mediocre team mates other top teams wouldnt consider.

    1. Hamilton? Ehm when exactly did he have a championship worthy opponent in the team? Just Alonso and there were a lot of nefarious things going on in that team at the time. He even lost to Rosberg… And no Rosberg wasn’t as good as Lando, Leclerc, Max. Maybe close to Russell…

      1. @w0ody

        How would know for shure? Hamilton has dominated Lando and Leclerc.

      2. “Just Alonso” – when did you start watching F1?

        “Just Alonso” was a 2 time world champ when a Rookie Ham made him look average. “Just Alonso” had beat the great Schumacher.

        Hamilton has also beaten 2 other world champions in Rosberg and Button.

        Remind me, how many world champion teammates has Verstapen had. How may has he had that are anywhere near the level of Alonso?

        Ver is driving a car tailor made for him, by a cheating team and a clear 1-2 driver set up.

        He is an unbelievable talent for sure but until Redbull have the guts to bring in a world class no2, this will always be the case of a superior car before driver for me.

        1. Did he beat Button or did Button also beat him in 2011? But to be honest this discussion is really ridiculous. If people here can’t recognize huge talents like Max, Lewis, Alonso than it’s because they are blind or just in denial.

          1. Hamilton beat himself in 2011 I’d say, while in 2021 the team looked at Button and lost the WDC and WCC.

          2. Button beat Hamilton in points over 3 years but don’t state such facts as the excuses will stream out. Many Hamilton fans claimed he’d destroy Button and actually it didn’t work out that way at all. Hamilton was frequently faster in qualifying but often slower on race pace. Over the years Hamilton learnt to setup his car with more emphasis on the complete package rather than outright single lap pace and it paid huge dividends for him.

          3. Hamilton was more competitive than Button on the vast majority of their time together.

            Button’s strenght was to do the opposite of Hamilton, because if he were to do the same he would lose 9 times ouf of 10.

            So when Pirelli was making those awful tyres, Button focused on saving tyres and going longer, making less stops, things like that. This and Hamilton’s lack of focus on the later part of that 2011 season is why he beat him.

            Came 2012 and he was demolished. Hamilton was winning races and Button coming home 16th on a perfectly healthy car (Canada).

            Him beating Hamilton on points over 3 seasons has more to do with things that happened with Hamilton than his own merits, even if it was great to see a guy not that fast beating the talents of Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel every once in a while with qualities none of them had (he was perhaps the best ever at reading the weather and making calls)

  12. Gaslighting is what Christian Horner brings to the table.

    It’s not the car, its Max! Is his main sales pitch.

    Even do the car is tailormade for Max, pointy oversteery. 180 from Perez style.

    Even though Redbull is a one man Team with 1 fulltime wingman and 2 deployable (Tororosso)

    Even though budget parts allocation goes towards Max. Making the essentially 1 team with a tier 1 and tier 2 car.
    Even though all test including in race sacrificing Perez to benefit Max.

    Even though Perez is a wingman in all aspects and was told yield from the get go.

    Even though Redbull CHEATED by breaking the costcap rule for both years he was crowned the “Worldchampion”.

    Ihmo. I don’t rate Verstappen that high, I think in a same car field he would absolutely fail. Primarily crash into others, high risk low gain situations. Push over the limit. Loose his cool beacause his narcissistic and egotistical personal traits clash with the objectivity of the material world. He is petulant, unable and unwilling to see his part in anything.

    The more I think about it the more I realise he would need a Masi, he would need a lax application of rules that allow breakchecking without disqualification.

    Races in which no racing was done but points were awarded to his benefit.

    There alot more. But suffice to say Max Verstappen is special, but not for his driving ability, rather for how flawed I find him as a driver, “teammate” and from what I can see human being. The more he is in the limelight the more I find him lacking. Like when joked about how he owned his gf.

    He doesn’t stand for nothing. And he doesn’t have to either, but if all he does is failing upwards while exibiting typically unsavory, dislikeable and assholish attitudes than you better be able to make diamonds out tar. And not handled it by your team, Masi, the FIA and Chase Cary.

    Michael Schu i think he’s very overated for some of the reasons that apply to Max, but in a same car league he would perform vastly better than Max. Alot of drivers would.

    To me Max Verstappen is a paperhero, he will always be that, representing unfairness, injustice, inability to rise or mature. He us a stark reminder for me to a enjoy my fortitude and accomplishments and never expect fairness in life.

    1. I raced Hamilton, and been on-track with Verstappen as well as watching both their careers since they were 8 and 12 respectively so I think I have a relatively good educated idea of the level of top-talent drivers. We knew back then Hamilton was F1 destined as well as Max. So much so I recall telling my local coffee shop boss who was an F1 fan to put a bet on Max to be an F1 world champion back in 2013.

      So I can’t fathom how anyone can suggest Max isn’t one of the finest drivers, ever. It’s beyond comprehension. Max in karts, was just unbelievable. It’s hard to really express what level he drove it. I reported on karting during his time and everything you see now, you saw then. If you don’t think he has special driving ability, I don’t know what to say.

      I remember having these same arguments in 2006 onwards when people said Hamilton was no good.

      1. Alan, having read this one, I now feel my earlier comment about differences in car handling was like teaching you to suck eggs. You probably have a much much better understanding of handling than most of us on here.

      2. Cognitive dissonance. That is all. Max and Lewis are both supremely talented. They’re not mutually exclusive concepts as many commenters would try to have you believe!

      3. Saying Verstappen is one of the finest drivers is one thing, and I’d say that no one reasonable who watches F1 should disagree, it’s when someone claims that he’s clearly unmatched (even when it’s ‘at this moment’) that it’s usually easy to point at inconsistencies in the argument (though one thing that made Schumacher such a great for such a time is that no one could match him for so long; only Hamilton, statistically, was able to ;)

    2. And this from a paper hero……… We all cannot say anything about those drivers for sure. And that stuff you say about the car which is setup for Max, is so funny. The teams will always create a car that is the fastest what they can find/design. How it is driven is up to the drivers.

      1. That’s just not true, there is a long history of car design influencing driver performance, just look at Ricciardo this year. Driving styles are developed over years, you can’t just change your instinctive style overnight. This is why drivers work with engineers to get a setup to give them the traits they need. Sometimes though teams will develop cars to bias towards a drivers requirement such as more oversteer leaning and different bias on braking, and perhaps more favourable power delivery. Sometimes in chasing these traits to benefit one driver you lose the ability to tune another ideal setup for a second driver.

        1. There’s a difference between working on a setup and designing a car to someone’s liking, especially when you have new aero/suspension regulations.

          it should be noted the McLaren isn’t to Lando’s liking either – https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.norris-admits-mcl36-is-unsuited-to-his-driving-style-but-eyes-long-term.2EkbfuEMtuRjuQbqeu1ncF.html

  13. “Both of our drivers have had their best ever seasons in Formula 1,”

    It’s the car.

  14. Team Principal says: No one can drive better than my driver in a car that was built specifically for my driver and their driving style.

    Surprising nobody.

    1. Well at least it works and Max takes some distance from his team mate. Which is more than can be said from the 8 years Mercedes dominance where their 2 driver under the same circumstances could easily bring it home in 2nd place for the vast majority of every race during every year, for 8 years long. Max has been saying this all along. Lewis sis not achieve the titles but the car did. Max equally knows this year the same can be said about the RB

    2. How exactly did RBR’s aero team factor in Max’s ‘driving style’ into the design? Assuming he even has a definable driving style that is relevant from a design standpoint.

      1. I’ve heard that Max likes a car that is more pointy, which can be very difficult for someone to drive. My understanding this is one reason DR left the team as the car was designed around Max’s style of driving.

        1. All top drivers like a pointy car. That’s not new, but that doesn’t explain how RBR’s aero team will figure Max into the design process over Sergio. People just make grand claims about ‘designing the car for’.. but back up with no engineering explanation.

          Sure some set ups might work… in season stuff… but we’re talking a whole new aero platform here

          1. Perhaps one could ask Perez because on this same website there was an article about how the updates made him less confortable with the car.

            Or why could he improve by 115 points in just a season, something not even Max 15/22 could do.

            Or why his precedessors underperformed so badly on those cars that, were not for Red Bull to secure them with other seats, they would probably be out of F1 for good because they looked so bad no team would want them.

          2. SLH used to have pointy car preference, låter he changed it to a benign approach. Reasons where faster car over race and speed of development with contributing drivers. Drawbacks as I see it, your team-mate is closer to you, which in the eyes some makes it look like you’re not that far apart.

          3. Alan Dove – You keep bringing this up as if it is a good point. “How could engineers build a car that suits one driver’s preferred driving style??” Um, I don’t know, they are some of the best F1 engineers money can buy? Do you think Newey, Monaghan, and the entire team are fresh out of school?

            Companies build cars to have particular characteristics all the time. The idea that a race team, that has won multiple races and titles, and has world-class technical, design, and engineering experts, cannot build a car that does what they want it to do, is farcical.

            So the only real question is, would RBR build a car to suit their #1? I see zero reason to think they wouldn’t. And if VER is their #1 (and he is) and if they think he is their star now and for the foreseeable future (they do), then it would be silly to hamper him by building a compromised car.

          4. @hobo

            Again, there’s a total lack of specificity.

            Saying they are the best engineers isn’t an answer. What specifically in the suspension geometry and aero design is compromised to favour Max’s style. Also, please describe Max’s ‘style’ in that.

            When RBR received the horrendously complex 2021 Technical Regulations* the aim is to get the most effective and efficient downforce package, not to build a car to a mythical styl of one particular driver. The reason is these things are almost impossible to predict, especially with near aero rules, and you’re disadvantaging yourself for no real clear reason.

            *it was supposed to be 2021 for introduction

      2. Well Max sneaks a look over Adrians shoulder at a future design concept and says nah that won’t suit my style. Sorry Max I’ll change the wings and pods immediately.

        Max’s driving style is to win.
        Neweys design style is to produce a design capable of winning. Up to the drivers after that.
        Max has done it, others left wanting.

      3. I remember seeing videos from Peter Windsor saying Max was braking early and rotating the car, getting it straight as son as possible and then accelerating out straight and early. But I’ve also seen Windsor say Max was rounding corners like Sainz… Those are quite different styles… Yes Max used both…when he figured it was faster. That’s a very special talent in my book. Someone who can change his driving style from one GP to the next (or even corner to corner as I’ve seen Max do) . Supremely adapting to a cars characteristic THAT’S a trait that would make him always float to the top…

        1. Exactly @w0o0dy First you need to recognise what you’ve got, or haven’t then work with it adapt to it. Master it. Drive to its strengths, whatever it takes (IF you have the ability!) But it’s a rare talent.

  15. Max is good, but he doesn’t drive in series like ROC where you can put your talent against others in identical vehicles.

    How about instead of Sprint races, we take a commercially available car and let each driver have 3 laps in the car. Fastest lap gets pole etc. Then we can see who is the best driver.

    1. Yeah @blueruck Top Gear comes to an F1 circuit near you.
      We can revisit A1 after that.

    2. OMG and Hamilton/Schumager has won every edition since?? If drivers don’t want to compete in it, because they want rest than who are we to judge that.

  16. 2021 showed that Max was not on another level to Lewis that year. You could certainly say he was slightly better over the course of the season, but there was no clear gap in ability. That’s the most recent yardstick we have for Max’s ability.

    Ricciardo was the only (at the time) high quality team mate a few years previously, and Max didn’t blow him away either. Max has rarely had a strong team mate to judge him against. At least Lewis had Alonso, Rosberg and Button (and to some extent Bottas, but he was never a consistent top-level performer) to provide some kind of barometer.

    Max may well have improved this year relative to 2021, but there’s no way to know because of the lack of challenge. I have no doubt he is one of the very best, and will win more WCs, but we just don’t have the evidence to suggest Max is on another level to other top drivers.

  17. Alonso can drive the wheels off anything, including a Red Bull. Don’t think Horner considered him, though…

    Reply moderated
    1. Actually, they did, even before becoming a top team.

      RedBull (officially) offered Alonso to sign on a multi-year in 2007 before he declined, with Alonso himself claiming RBR approached him six times (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2019×2) back in 2019 when Ricciardo was leaving.

      Since the truth usually is somewhere in the middle, he’s likely been approached a few times but negotiations always broke down. RedBull would throw Max under the bus if they spot someone as fast, faster and/or more marketable than him. That is how they operate; Vettel and Ricciardo are great examples.

      Reply moderated
  18. If no driver can’t defeat him in the same car then you hire someone better for the 2nd car since Max is going to beat him anyway.

    At least the team would finally get that 1-2, right?

    But for some misterious reason, they enjoy hiring 2nd rate drivers for the sister car.
    Philantropy, maybe?

    1. Good point, get leclerc, and then we’ll see if verstappen is really unmatchable in the same car.

      1. and give him the same car and dont sacrifice his strategy for the other driver

        Reply moderated
  19. Err, OK, so prove it.
    :o)

  20. I think Horner maybe right just about, but as he will never allow a real proven challenger into the team we probably won’t find out. As a driver he is supremely quick but I don’t think you would necessarily chose him as a best mate still I am sure he wouldn’t loose any sleep over that.

  21. He’s probably right. This has been the most dominant championship win in the least dominant car. I can’t really think of another driver who made the difference in such an obvious way. Perhaps Clark 65 but even then, was anything else a match for the Lotus 33? Relative to the pace of Ferrari, there’s no way Red Bull should have won 17 races this year. Max has just been on another level. I’d say Lando Norris would give Max a run for his money in the same machinery. That’s just a hunch though.

    1. A lot of that is ferrari throwing though, not so much verstappen being superhuman.

  22. @Alan Dove i’am talking about application of talent not the amount of talent.

    By paperhero i mean a person who has not earned the merits awarded. One can debate who was the better driver all last year. For me however the effort and quality put in cannot be separated from the foul play and lack of sportsmanship. Also the aiding and abetting of Liberty media and the FIA.

    I haven’t accomplished anything even compared to Mazepin or Maldonado. But i value sportsmanship, and making you’re own luck without leaving bodies in your wake. I don’t consider myself a hero nor paper. I just wrote my opinion based on values and morals. And i’am not going call anyone names because they disagree with my opinion @EriT

    The narritive is that Max was so good he deserved the championship last year, what is missing is the shitstained side of the coin that tells how he made it that far.

    This is really important! I’am not trying to sell my worldview to anyone. This are my opinions and this is not Iran or China. Its ok to have different opinion other then your own.

    Reply moderated
    1. It’s hard to break down everything you’ve said here but you said many drivers would perform “vastly better” than Max in the same car, except there is scant evidence to suggest so. Max is the first driver in history to win a Senior FIA World Karting title AND an F1 World title. This is actually an achievement that is remarkable considering the level FIA Karting is in KZ.

      He dragged a second rate F3 team into a winning position and now is a 2x F1 WDC. I can understand if you take an unliking to someone, but literally the whole karting world back in 2013, was saying Max is a generational talent. This is why we find it funny when people argue about whether Max is top talent or not (usually from those with no knowledge of him prior to F1), when we all knew back then he was just unbelievably good.

      This how “the car is tailormade for Max, pointy oversteery. 180 from Perez style.” is another myth/fallacy. It’s now a trope to say good drivers prefer a pointy car (iirc Max doesn’t even identify with having a ‘style’), but if we leave that aside, how exactly did RBR design the RB18 to suit Max’s style. What aero and suspension decisions did they make? All this stuff people say, but without any engineering foundation at all.

      As for your “his narcissistic and egotistical personal traits clash with the objectivity of the material world. He is petulant, unable and unwilling to see his part in anything” comments. You don’t know the guy and petulant is the most over-used word in F1 commentary.

  23. When you’re better than anyone else you beat them fair and square. You avoid collisions with opponents you consider inferior to you. You just nail them in true racers fashion. If opposite is the case you collide with those superior to you and you never race them cleanly. Max made the statement who’s that superior guy on many occasions. Nice try Christian.

  24. I tend to agree with the assessment based on evidence, Ver is the single best on current form, But I would be cautious to put money on it, I think Norris and Leclerc would be very close in the same machinery.
    Norris has driven the wheels off the McLaren
    Leclerc has had to deal with an unreliable and therefore detuned Ferrari

    Reply moderated
  25. Horner continues to be ignorable.

  26. DeeAnn Hopings
    23rd November 2022, 4:49

    Anything to fluff up the boy’s ego.

    Sorry, that business in Brazil showed us how mature he isn’t.

    To repeat something that he said:

    “Half the field could win in that car.”

    Remember that ALL of his wins have been in an Adrian Newey car…

    1. He won the KZ FIA World Karting championship with engines his dad tuned. He made the world’s best karters look average in 2013. Not many ‘up and coming talents’ have ever done this. The idea he isn’t supremely talented just doesn’t add up when you observe the full breadth of his racing career.

      In fact he might be the only person to ever win a Senior FIA World Championship title in karting and F1.

  27. Can max win in a slower car? Can any driver (in a slower car) win in a straight fight against another driver in a faster car. 9/10 most probably NOT. A drivers Talent does not make the car go faster than it is physically capable of. That’s just impossible. A drivers talent determines how best he can extract the maximum performance the car allows. And yes the Engineers can and do design and set up the cars to the drivers liking. some teams focus on 1 driver (for obvious reasons) other teams focus on both and find a happy medium. Its the way its been in f1 for all time. Max this year after 1st few races has been driving near perfectly. But its the same for Lewis when the car was soo dominant. A overly dominant car is “easier” to drive and make the driver look good. Drivers talent is determined over many races, many championships many years. Who is consistently quicker consistently winning or out scoring their partner etc, in different categories of racing.

  28. “Right now”. So a temporary statement only valid when made.

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