Supreme Verstappen ensures Perez’s spell as a championship contender is brief

2023 F1 team mate battles

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When Sergio Perez became Max Verstappen’s team mate in 2021, much was made of the difficulty he faced with the unfamiliarity of his new surroundings.

Much of that was quite reasonable. Verstappen knew the RB16B well as it was closely based on the previous year’s car. Perez had to adjust to a new chassis, power unit, team and everything else.

Despite that by the end of the season Perez was giving a decent account of himself. He qualified little more than a tenth of a second behind Verstappen at times. That performance proved critical in the championship, as it helped Verstappen take the fight to Lewis Hamilton over the decisive final races.

Now in his third season at the team, in a car evolved from last year’s title-winner, Perez would have been justified in expecting he could regularly get on terms with Verstappen. To begin with it seemed he might – just a tenth of a second separated the two RB19s on the grid in Bahrain.

(L to R): Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Miami International Autodrome, 2023
Verstappen brushed Perez aside to win in Miami
Had that proved the shape of things to come we might be enjoyed a much more competitive championship. Even so, four races in, Perez and Verstappen were tied on victories.

Perez took his wins in Jeddah and Baku. The latter had always been a strong venue for him, and his victory in the former came thanks to Verstappen suffering a technical problem in qualifying. Meanwhile Verstappen strolled to victory in Bahrain, then in Melbourne he brushed the Mercedes aside to triumph. Perez suffered a horrendous Saturday at the latter, ending Q1 in a gravel trap, and his weekend never recovered from there.

If it was possible to believe after Baku that Perez stood a chance in the championship, Verstappen killed that off in Miami. Perez took pole after Verstappen slipped up in qualifying, leaving him ninth. In the race he simply cruised up to his team mate and passed him. It was a humiliating defeat for Perez, and it only got worse from there.

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In Monaco, Perez threw his RB19 into the barrier at Sainte Devote. As in Melbourne, it was the prelude to a point-less weekend. Incredibly, it began a run of six consecutive races in which he failed to take the car which was dominating the championship into Q3, either due to crashes, errors or a simple lack of pace.

With Red Bull facing no effective competition from their rival teams, Perez’s failure to get on terms with Verstappen for much of the year made the championship outcome a foregone conclusion long before the summer break. As long as Verstappen is able to take wins half a minute ahead of the team’s rivals without stretching himself, Perez’s performances aren’t an immediate problem for Red Bull.

But that will change when their rivals finally get their act together. Daniel Ricciardo’s reappearance at AlphaTauri shows Red Bull know it.

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Unrepresentative comparisons omitted. Negative value: Verstappen was faster; Positive value: Perez was faster

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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...

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62 comments on “Supreme Verstappen ensures Perez’s spell as a championship contender is brief”

  1. Yeah, I do think that when Perez is in a vibe with the car and feeling confident he can be close enough to Verstappen where he can win. But Max is just so relentlessly consistently fast everywhere and seemingly able to pull out extra almost at will that it’s really hard to keep up the confidence in yourself when your’re up agains that in the same car.

    Perez probably let the pressure get to him, crashed in Monaco and that made him question the car, himself, everything. By now, we can hope he can get back to his mojo for a bit where he will at least be offering some challenge to Max, but I have little hope Max will be in a mood to let that happen more than occasionaly.

    For the championship, there really was never much doubt that it would be one sided, but I guess we can be happy at least the first few races gave us the hope of having them race each other for it.

    1. I hear that his Sponsor question Red Bull giving Perez the same car …… Like they can affort 2 different types or car. Making his car heavier ? I think Perez Sponsor should inform himself in how teams operate.

      And this because Verstappen can’t be so fast them Perez in the same car. If they were the same kind of driver maybe but Perez brakes late while Max breaks early Perez make rounder corners while Max makes his corner shorter.

      1. I don’t think it’s realistic that RBR are giving Perez a different car or any such. I’m no fan of theirs, and don’t like how they often operate, but I don’t think even they would do such a thing. What would be the point?

        If there is anything going on which favours Max in terms of the car, it’s most likely that they build the car around Max. He likes it to run a particular way which is different to most other drivers, including Perez. That will naturally put Perez at a disadvantage, but it’s not intentionally sabotaging Perez.

        1. Charlie Racing
          8th August 2023, 11:06

          I know what you mean, but the car is not build to suit Max or build around him: Max likes a very oversteering car and this just happens to be the fastest way for a car to go round the track, hence Newey and colleagues are building the car this way. Max just has the ‘luck’ his driving is perfect for this.

          Add to this the fact that Max want the most oversteer you can imagine and you have a speed deficit between him and every other driver, only because of this extreme way he can handle a oversteering car.

          1. this just happens to be the fastest way for a car to go round the track

            It’s the fastest way for a car to go around the track for a driver who suits this style of driving. If they had a main driver who didn’t want that, they wouldn’t design a car which did so.

            There is no one way for a car to be the fastest around a circuit, and indeed it varies between circuits and conditions. The fastest way for a car/driver pairing to get around a track is for the car and driver to be perfectly in sync. RBR design their car to suit their main driver, as most teams do when they have a clear number one driver, because that’s most likely to lead to the best results.

          2. and this just happens to be the fastest way

            Oh what a coincidence

          3. I think you are naive if you believe Perez has equal or better inputs in to the car’s setup and handling. Especially optimizing programs for race distance (tire wear). Verstappen probably has more drive to succeed, BUT, like Vettel, RBR always (like Ferrari) have a #1 and a #2 driver. Even if they are not advertising it.

          4. Charlie Racing
            9th August 2023, 22:08

            @drmouse look up some Newey interviews. Or some explanations about this by Peter Windsor for that matter.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          8th August 2023, 13:08

          I don’t think it’s realistic that RBR are giving Perez a different car or any such. I’m no fan of theirs, and don’t like how they often operate, but I don’t think even they would do such a thing. What would be the point?

          They would if the car was too quick compared to the competition. Red Bull know that a 1.5 to 2 second gap would be short-lived and would make them disliked by everyone. If one of their cars was struggling (like Webber’s for instance) they could extend that advantage for 3-4 seasons as opposed to guaranteed changes next season (or even mid season) so that they don’t lap the other cars on the podium.

          No one knows if Max was joking but he did suggest that he pull a free pit stop over a few laps over Checo. At first, I thought I was the only one surprised by the distance Max had put between himself and Checo on such a quick circuit but then others (Brundle and Chandhok) also spoke up post-race. The rest are speechless as Max’s comment is akin to Phelps checking with his coach if he should break the record by 10 seconds or 1 minute. These tongue-in-cheek comments are usually more true than folks would think.

        3. It won’t matter either way. Build the car around Perez style and Max will still outdrive him. That should be clear by now. Don’t understand the resistance here. Max has outdriven everyone in every category he has ever competed in. People might not like him, but to search for external reasons for his pace is becoming rather silly by now. He is not like some former champions who need the package to be optimal to be able to win. He will distract whatever is in a car. And he will do it in a consistent way which makes the life of both the race strategists and the car developer much easier.

    2. @bascb Now RedBull has every reason to prioritise Ver over Per strategy which means he’s effectively fighting himself first but also the team on top of Ver. I can’t see many scenarios where Per would get preferential treatment over Ver.

      At RedBull, the rich tend to become richer.

      1. As in Matthew 25:29

      2. Now RedBull has every reason to prioritise Ver over Per strategy which means he’s effectively fighting himself first but also the team on top of Ver. I can’t see many scenarios where Per would get preferential treatment over Ver.

        As Verstappen is so far ahead (and all but guaranteed the 2023 WDC), it could make sense to help Perez as much as possible to stay 2nd and get de WCC as early as possible.

        But why tickle the goose that lays the golden eggs, it may refuse to lay those eggs in the coming years.

        1. the world of advertising is a confidence game, branding and all. Its probably a sin in that world to risk Vice Versa, as that would tarnish Verstappen’s marketing potential, as the greatest driver. I like RBR because they care more about winning than politics, but they are not above money or marketing, especially being a drinks company.

        2. I think RB is doing just that, but Perez just isn’t a talented driver. If it wasn’t for Ricciardo leaving he would have been without a seat for many years already and hardly anyone would remember him.

  2. Another driver soon to be retired by Verstappen. Many of us said Perez was not a top tier driver when he got the role but I think nobody foesaw the complete collapse of his ability this year to the point he’s been beaten by other cars that are half a second slower per lap as shown by his teammates pace. One of the worst performances in a leading car I’ve ever seen, truly awful and he should be sacked for next year.

    Verstappen has been supreme this year, he also showed more maturity by driving more below the limit to hide some of his cars true pace at times which is a great strategy to stop the FIA tinkering. The car is great but as shown by Perez this year, you still have to deliver with it.

    1. Webber also was pretty bad at red bull in the vettel era, didn’t ever manage to get 2nd.

      1. I think Webber struggled a lot with the rapidly-degrading tyres in 2011-2013, because before that he was a lot closer to Vettel and of course went into the Abu Dhabi finale in 2010 ahead of his teammate in the championship, albeit with less bad luck. They were also very evenly-matched in 2009.

        Vettel did, of course, look absolutely unbeatable at his best and seemed even stronger than Hamilton and Alonso, but it proved later in his career that he was actually the third-best of his era. This does make me wonder if Red Bull, perhaps more than any other team, like to build the entire team around one driver and therefore make that driver look a bit better than they really are. Right now, Max Verstappen appears to be even better than Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, but I have a suspicion that if he were to leave Red Bull, he would not be quite as strong, a bit like Vettel.

        1. Max was allways very good in any car so i don’t think he would be as Vettel who had big problems in other kind of cars. (even in Red Bull team)
          But we see that when Max leaves Red Bull after 2026

          1. Davethechicken
            8th August 2023, 18:12

            Riccardo was just as fast as Max over three seasons in Red Bull, indeed at the time he shocked all at RBR, when he announced he was leaving, he was ahead in the WDC again in 2018, having beaten Max the 2 previous years.
            Only the second half of 2018 after that did Max gets ahead. Obviously when a driver announces this midseason the team is very guarded regards developments , set up, upgrades etc etc so as not to allow information transfer to the new team. Engineers go on enforced gardening leave, drivers do not.
            Marko himself stated Max and Sainz were a very even match at TR.
            There is a definite question to be answered in terms of high quality teammates. The best he has faced is Riccardo and Sainz both of which are not held in huge regard.

          2. I could see Leclerc or Lando giving Max a hard time in the same car. I would go as far as saying that Leclerc would outqualify him over an entire season, but not outrace him. I don’t think either driver would beat him over an entire season though. On raceday, Max is still the class of the field.

          3. @davethechicken. You mean when Max wasn’t 20 years old yet? It as pretty clear why Ricciardo left and it had nothing to do with preferential treatment. Ricciardo also saw Max’ data and understood perfectly well what was going to happen.

          4. Davethechicken
            9th August 2023, 19:07

            @mayrton, Max turned 21 in 2018. As I recall DR left Red Bull as he was getting a massive paycheck to move and many thought Red Bull would struggle with the Honda engine for 2019, after the Mclaren Honda was so poor.
            How do you know he was worried about Max and data? What is your source?

        2. @f1frog Yes, that’s it. Webber was self-critical enough to say the same; he could never quite get on top of the Pirelli tyres like Vettel (and others) could. He was much closer on the Bridgestone, and was immediately back on the pace on Michelin in the WEC.

          Let’s not forget Schumacher was very critical of Pirelli too, before he was politely asked to stop talking about it anyway. These tyres take a very particular skill to drive well. Arguably a top driver should be able to make the most of any tyre, but the characteristics of the tyres do mean certain skil lsets are privileged.

          1. MichaelN,
            I didn’t read your comment but I shared the exact same remark about Schumacher with regard to the Pirellis !

        3. @f1frog
          The designed-to-degrade Pirellis played an important role in Webber’ struggles as he comes from an era that doesn’t know tyre management. Drivers have always managed their tyres but not to the point where they would sacrifice qualifying for the race. Micheal Schumacher have also been critical of the Pirellis though he adapted better than Webber in his final year.

          The real reason why Webber was on Vettel’s pace and sometimes faster winning races on merit and not due to special circumstances especially in the first half of 2010 is that he was able to extract the maximum performance from the exhaust blown diffuser thanks to his driving technique. He was able to produce a better off-throttle blowing.

          Before the summer break, RBR introduced an upgrade to their engine mappings that automated the off-throttle blowing that it is now longer mechanically controlled by the driver. This upgrade was crucial for Vettel who not only regained speed but it enabled him to develop his counter-intuitive rotation driving style that won him 4 championships on the trot

      2. I think there was a case that for a lot of that time there were more competitive cars for the Red Bull than they’ve had over the last 2 years.

  3. I’m left to wonder how much of Perez early form was actually Max being out of form instead. Disregarding Max’s mysterious non-Covid illness during the first few races, Max spend a lot of the second half of the Baku race trying a whole slew of different set-up changes with GP, it was very interesting to see how each change affected his lap times. After that, he unlocked something in that car and started dominating Perez.

    So yeah, while there was certainly a bit of a psychological dip afterwards when the bitter truth of Checo’s number two status became apparent to him, I don’t think there was ever going to be an outcome where Perez was going to keep up a season long challenge on Verstappen.

    Now the question remains is what do you do with him. I doubt there’s going to be many drivers that will ever challenge Verstappen’s run in that car. There might be some that could be closer than Checo, but I doubt that 90% or more of the current field would do better there than Perez does. And the few top drivers wouldn’t want to be in that seat, I’d imagine. So they need a second driver that accepts they’re the second driver and doesn’t get discouraged by it. They need an Irvine, they need a Barrichello, they need a Bottas. Because by all means, Checo should be qualifying top 3 and finishing top 2 every single race and he’s not right now.

    1. I’m left to wonder how much of Perez early form was actually Max being out of form instead.

      I wonder if it’s just that they built a more “normal” racecar early on, which suited Perez better, then have optimised it for Max in a way which doesn’t suit Perez as well. We’ve heard many times that Max like his cars to handle very differently to most drivers on the grid. It would kind of fit both what we have seen this season and what we know about the team and drivers.

      1. I don’t see a vastly different car from the season’s first race until Spa. Sure, it was updated here and there, a wave on the sidepod, a flap or two on the floor edge, but a vastly different car? Not so much.

        1. It doesn’t have to be vastly different, but if it’s moved towards Max’s preferences and away from Checo’s, that could well be enough to explain some of the differences we’ve seen. It certainly doesn’t cover it all, Perez obviously didn’t have his head in the game properly either.

          1. I’ve seen you propose this idea that cars are developed to the preference of a driver, but that is simply false. All an engineering department cares about is performance. They have different teams working on different area’s and a structure that brings it all together in a package. It would be foolish to leave peak performance on the table just because the resulting balance would suit one of your drivers more.

            A good driver is capable of driving every car on its limit in the way that car needs to be driven. He makes the car setup for the maximum performance he can extract from it, not for it’s ease or comfort for him driving personally.

            It seems that Red Bull have developed a very well balanced car that has a lot of freedom in terms of setup as well. Apparently Max is just a whole lot better at understanding at how him and that package can work together, and how to make that symbiosis go fast around any track. But the idea that Red Bull would let themselves be guided by whatever Max specifically does with that car or on a track is not true. They deliver a package with a limit to it’s performance and setup options on how to achieve that and adjust that per track. Only the latter bit is (partially) up to the driver, but it is where that last couple of tenths in laptime is. Let’s not forget how small of a margin 4 tenths on a 5.3km distance actually is.

          2. @BamBoomBots Absolutely true that engineers will try to maximize performance, regardless of driving characteristics. McLaren is a good example, for all the wrong reasons. Their cars have been notoriously tricky for years, a consequence of a design philosophy that has been maintained throughout several regulation-changes despite frequent complaints from multiple drivers.

            Drivers can influence what focus the engineers apply to the in-season development through their feedback, but the influence of this is quite small. The engineers know from the data if the car has certain issues or limitations long before a driver gets to the debrief. Regardless, if someone like Verstappen highlights an issue, people will be more interested to look into it than if someone like Tsunoda does the same.

          3. Grasping for straws imho.

  4. I can’t help feeling, there’s a whole lot more going on than Perez’s mood swings. Everyone sees the results before they ever learn of the circumstances.

    A good driver doesn’t suddenly become a bad driver overnight, not without external pressures playing a part. Situations like this demand you look at the car and at the garage too.

    The title of this article reads “Supreme Verstappen ensures Perez’s spell as a championship contender is brief” when it should really say “Matriarchal Redbull ensures Perez’s spell as a championship contender is brief”.

    There’s no doubting Verstappen’s ability as a driver, we also know he strops a lot to get his own way, add to this the recent statement by Helmut Marko “He has now woken up from his World Championship dream,” , and i get the feeling Redbull have ‘done a number’ on Perez, aka corporate shenanigans which is atypical for big business.

    1. Coventry Climax
      8th August 2023, 12:01

      There’s no way you can back this all up. It’s also full of conclusion jumping.
      You’re entitled to an opinion ofcourse, like all of us, but that’s what it is; just your opinion, your belief and nothing more.

      1. Davethechicken
        8th August 2023, 18:15

        If you read Buttons autobiography, he paints a picture of Perez having the odd good weekend back when he was his teammate, but often being miles behind for no clear reason

    2. Perez isn’t suddenly a bad driver Perez has problems with his fronts temperatures the Red Bull 2023 doesn’t heat those tyres (front) up as the 2022 car because they fixed the suspension this year to maximize the groundeffect. As temperatures are cool (or Wet) Perez struggles even at Spa you could see that.
      Perez loves breaking late which is NOT good with this car to keep his tyres in the right window untill he reconize that we don’t see Perez beating Max.

      1. Coventry Climax
        9th August 2023, 21:18

        It’s the other way round: Perez is generally a bad driver with sudden and random spells of being up to speed.

  5. Coventry Climax
    8th August 2023, 11:55

    I would love to hear from Max himself, on some the things that are said here and sound like they’re the absolute truth even if it is speculation more than anything else and with no way people can actually know.

    Some of the comments seem to really blame Red Bull for concentrating on Max and his driving style with their car development. But even if, what’s there to blame?
    First of all, I think the bulk of development direction is based on what makes the car -both cars- faster, more efficient, regardless of who is to drive it. It is a driver’s job to then extract the best of what he/she is offered.
    Secondly, sure, in certain details, when not hampering that first goal, certain things might be tweaked a bit to Max’s liking. How much of that is construction and how much is in setup only, is a guess only Max and Red Bull themselves can truly answer. Most of what’s said about that here is just speculation. But anyway, can you blame them? If I had two drivers, with one of them consistently delivering and with a clear opinion and the technical insight on what exactly it is that he’d like to see in a car, and the other driver much less so, I’d do exactly the same. People forget that Max was there and learned when his dad worked on the engines and setups and everything else, for the karts they were racing. I doubt Perez has that same technical level.

    Bottom line, I don’t think Max ‘ensured’ anything; Max is just Max. He’s said over and over again he doesn’t need a competitive team mate to bring out the best in him, he’s quite capable of doing that by himself. I think he proves that to be quite true.
    If anyone did anything at all, it’s Perez himself.

    1. Even in 2016 when Max was just 18 years old, RIC told this:

      “Even the way when he’s in engineering briefings and talking about some details on the car, I don’t even know what they are.

      “He’s a bit of a racing nerd, I guess!”

      1. @anunaki Yes, Verstappen was – almost literally – born and raised for this. It’s a bit sad in a way, but the results being what they are, so far at least it’s working out quite well for him.

    2. Some of the comments seem to really blame Red Bull for concentrating on Max and his driving style with their car development.

      I can only speak for myself, but I’m not blaming RBR. It makes sense to concentrate your development direction on what suits the lead driver, especially when there is such a vast difference in ability levels between them. My comments are not apportioning any blame or fault, just exploring possible explanations of the results so far. Max is an incredible driver, Perez a mediocre one, but that alone shouldn’t be enough to explain a 20s gap over a handful of laps or the difference in lap times in all situations.

      1. Coventry Climax
        8th August 2023, 15:35

        That’s why I said ‘some seem to’, and there’s no need to feel spoken to when you don’t recognise yourself in whom I adress with what I say.

        Not sure about why it couldn’t be enough to explain the difference though, with one driver motivated and the other despondent.

        We’ve seen the exact same thing with Hamilton and Bottas. There too, I can’t find any reason why Bottas should be put (past tense) on the backfoot by his own team. Just makes no sense.

    3. This is me keeping an open mind. Knowing how the world works. Allowing for what can’t be proved.

      ‘A good driver doesn’t suddenly become a bad driver overnight, not without external pressures playing a part’.

      1. Coventry Climax
        8th August 2023, 15:26

        Ah, and yet the ‘without external pressure’ is just a guess from you.

        Many say the pressure -if that’s really what causes his slump- that Perez feels, is all and only created by himself, within his own mind.
        Not saying you’re necessarily wrong or right, just not drawing conclusions.

        What we do know for sure: Max annihilating all of his team mates so far, the one that came closest jumping ship to not work any magic whatsoever at McLaren and has yet to really prove things at Alpha Tauri, Max’s massive technical knowledge, the ease with which he finds new tricks to overtake where others -and especially Perez, but Bottas is another example- keep trying the same thing lap after lap and still don’t succeed despite a faster car, his ability to read and save the tyres, etc.
        Going on that, I still believe Perez is the only one responsable for his lack of competitive pace, with no need to try and look for conspiracy type explanations.

      2. notagrumpyfan
        8th August 2023, 17:22

        It’s most likely ‘internal pressure’ rather than ‘external pressure’ or some kind of team conspiracy.

        Especially when you see that the other driver can do more with the same material, it can cause one to make more mistakes (push beyond your capabilities) and lose the confidence to perform at your best.

      3. I think it is not so much a good or bad situation but rather a consistency thing. The trait of WDC’s is consistency. Being occasionally good won’t cut it.

    4. We’ve seen Verstappen stroppy mid-race radio comments when he was asked to give a place back to Perez, after Perez allowed him through. We’ve heard Verstappen carry grudges into a race months after an incident with his team mate. Max operates to a code where he takes and never gives. What makes you thinks he would be any different in private?

      1. Coventry Climax
        8th August 2023, 15:42

        There goes the open mind… on the wings of Red Bull, I’m afraid.

        I don’t particularly like him either, nor do I particularly like Hamilton, or Leclerc, or any other driver for that matter. I thought I liked Russell, when he was at Williams, but his demeanor dissappoints me hugely now at Mercedes.
        But it doesn’t matter, as all that is entirely besides the point and no cause or justification for blaming them for the mishap of others.

        1. I agree. I have liked very few WDC’s. Maybe 1 (or if I try hard 2). I remember Ron Dennis stating to make no mistake in your judgement of these guys as they are all bast… But I can still see their sheer talent and them rising above the rest of the field with their performance

    5. I think Max said Newey changed the suspension this year which makes it a hell harder to keep the fronts in the right window. There are enough interviews Max saying cool hards are dangerous cold as he has problems keeping the car on track. And if Max has problems to keep the car on track during the warmup rounds Perez sure has problems and that is what we see……..

  6. Of course giving Max a lighter chassis last year without telling anyone had nothing to do with his romp? Ask Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Mansell or Fangio what racing is all about: the car advantage! Max cannot possibly be one second faster than anybody in the same car. And if he isn’t, they make sure he is. Obvious to anyone following F1 for more than a few years!

    1. Of course giving Max a lighter chassis last year without telling anyone

      That did not happen. They kept the lighter chassis for this season.
      The development of the car tends to strengthen the strong points. Its very clear maxs driving style fits those strong points and Perez has increasing trouble using them.
      Every driver chooses his own setup, so Perez is very able to change the setup to fit his driving style better.
      The problem is his performance drops and the faster (max) setup is a dangerous but logical result.
      Perez tried to change his driving style to adapt to this setup but seems to fail.
      We know, from Perez!! that both get exact the same material to work with. No difference there. Maybe a new development is first available for the fastest car/driver combo. But the other car will profit shortly after.
      Perez (his own account again!) is actively working with a psychologist to adapt his mental state to the pressure.

      So max was almost always half a second faster compared with checo. When checo lost half a second the result was a difference of 1 second or more depending on the pressure.

    2. Coventry Climax
      8th August 2023, 15:57

      Beethoven could not possibly have been better than John Doe, who practised for 24 hours a day, 365 a year, and still had his full hearing at even 75. I’m sure the devil was in on it.
      Jeff Beck can’t be better than 90% of the worlds guitarists, alive or dead, he didn’t even practice that much most of the time, preferring to build hot-rods.
      Leonardo da Vinci? He was gay for C’s sake. Couldn’t have been just him. Must have had outside help.

      Is that the way we’re going to talk about things here? Oh, not that it’s even remotely relevant, but I follow F1 since the late 60’s. Not with as much fun anymore over the last couple of years, with discussions such as this part of the reason.

      1. Beethoven could not possibly have been better than John Doe, who practised for 24 hours a day, 365 a year

        Of course Ludwig van B. was better than John Doe, but only because JD was seriously sleep-deprived.

        (you got me with the Jeff Beck trivium on hot rods, didn’t know that. And I’d change your 90% to 99%)

        1. Coventry Climax
          9th August 2023, 1:12

          I was trying to be conservative with my 90%, given there’s some sensitive guys here.

    3. Max cannot possibly be one second faster than anybody in the same car.

      Give me Max’s car and watch how many seconds he is faster than me (make it minutes). And I am not totally race-naïve, I did a little karting in the early 70’s. Not to talk about simulators.

    4. Since there is no way one driver can be better than the other I guess?

  7. F1 might be making a change to DRS that is likely to affect Red Bull the most but I don’t think that any driver has any chance of catching Max this season. Not Checo and not any other driver on the grid has any chance of taking the world championship title from him in this season.

    1. The bets are off, will Max clinch it in Suzuka? (first venue were it is mathematically possible but very unlikely), Will it be Qatar (still pretty difficult but doable). Or COTA, with still 4 races left (my personal bet). Or later?

      Most likely Max will continue on all-conquering mode, but it depends mostly on what Checo can do meanwhile (or even Fred etc). If Checo keeps collecting podiums (or an occasional win) it will take a little longer

  8. Perez had several weeks as a ‘championship contender’. Which beats Massa’s 90 seconds as 2008 champion.

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