Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari and Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Las Vegas Strip Circuit 2023

Verstappen will make more mistakes if we put him under pressure next year – Vasseur

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Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur says that his team must find a way of turning up the pressure on Max Verstappen next season.

Verstappen and Red Bull waltzed to both world championship titles in 2023. The team won 21 of the 22 rounds and Verstappen breaking multiple records on his way to a third successive drivers’ title.

Ferrari was the only team other than Red Bull to win a grand prix all season. Carlos Sainz Jnr took victory in Singapore on a weekend when Red Bull unusually struggled for pace compared to their rivals.

With Verstappen winning so regularly in 2023, Vasseur said he recognised what a strong season the world champion had throughout 2023.

“I’m not sure anyone has a doubt about this – he had a mega season,” Vasseur admitted. “He was fighting with Checo [Perez] the first two or three events, but then he was on another planet.

“Clearly, he didn’t make a mistake the whole season. I think even when he struggled in qualifying – I think in Jeddah – it was due to an issue. And then he was always there, always making good starts with no contact – the only one [when he did] was Vegas.”

Verstappen led over 1,000 laps of the season in 2023 – far more than any other driver in Formula 1 history. Vasseur believes that placing Verstappen under more pressure will be crucial for him to be challenged next season.

“There is no doubting the fact that he was dominating all the season,” he said. “The only issue for us is, as with everybody, he will make more mistakes when he will be under pressure and nobody was able to put him under pressure this season.

“Other than the last two or three events – or Carlos in Singapore – is where he started to do some mistakes or that Red Bull made some mistakes in terms of set-up. We were just too far away to put this kind of pressure on him.”

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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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28 comments on “Verstappen will make more mistakes if we put him under pressure next year – Vasseur”

  1. Easier said than done.

  2. He might, but Ferrari putting pressure on someone is already a steady source of own mistakes… so it’ll balance out anyway.

    1. I think what Fred actually meant was – Ferrari will make mistakes under pressure if they turn up next year.

    2. Hahaha, unfortunately you’re right.

  3. So one mistake instead of zero? Under immense pressure during the last 4 races of 2021, when Max used every trick in the book and even more, he still finished 2nd, 2nd, 2nd and 1st. Meanwhile in 2022 when Leclerc absolutely had a car to challenge Max, he spun out at Imola and crashed out of comfortable P1 in France on top of underperforming in several races.

  4. He was put under big pressure during 21 and made little mistakes considering also that was his first title challenge… Vs the Mercedes.. a more relaxed and mature verstappen has proven to have an almost robotic consistency

    1. Only really while the car was faster or he was in a comfortable position ahead in the championship. In the last few weekends when he was under pressure he made mistakes very weekend and some multiple. Of course a little off the rails and racing very desperately also. He definitely does but he tough too. Wasn’t it in Portugal as well he lost position to Lewis due to an error. It proves untested since then, how he will race a title contender. If like Lewis leave the accident up to the other driver or not.

    2. a more relaxed and mature verstappen has proven to have an almost robotic consistency

      As noted by the baron, he’s only relaxed when there is no real competition.
      Add any pressure at all, and the bleeps on the radio outweigh any child-friendly vocabulary.
      Put a Merc in front of him, and he will find a way of “intercepting” it.

      Not what most people would regard as mature.

      1. As noted by the baron, he’s only relaxed when there is no real competition.

        And so one should be relaxed when there is competition? Seems to me competition would raise the hackles a bit and one might try harder….

  5. Robert Henning
    4th December 2023, 18:13

    Of course he will. He is afterall human. That said he will probably still make far fewer errors and most of his mistakes often end up being inconsequential. Now one might argue that’s luck but with most elite drivers in this game, it’s not as simple as that.

    Verstappen was in many ways what made previous years more tolerable. This dominance was always going to hit different. I hope other teams have a car marginally quicker than RB. We will have a good title fight then.

    1. How do you know he is human? Maybe he is from another planet.

      1. How do you know he is human? Maybe he is from another planet.

        Nope, Belgium.
        Admittedly, the Belgians can be a little strange with their devotion to food and beer (which is actually liquid bread) but that isn’t a bad thing.

    2. I think for example his 360 degrees spins he always manages to recover the car, they happened several times by now, definitely it’s not just luck.

      1. Robert Henning
        4th December 2023, 19:12

        Yes, those are the instances I was referring to. Thanks.

      2. I agree. Schumacher displayed exactly the same.

  6. Yep as soon as he is under pressure he will crack like an egg, we saw it when he had the fastest car in 21 and had to get sacked corrupt Masi to gift him the title.

    1. What a strange comment. Time to give it a rest.

      1. truth hurts, hey

      2. Imagine getting that upset over somebodies opinion, lol

        1. You’re not formulating it as your opinion, and you know it.

          1. Don’t cry it’s not worth it.

    2. Just wait for three three eight and keep sulking

      1. He will never get 8 isn’t good enough unless he has a rocketship.

        1. That’s it, you did as told, good boy!

  7. Ifis! F1 backwards!

    1. Ifis! F1 backwards!

      Well, “FI” actually, and I think that’s a word relating to some music thing (not my field, would need to consult the wife) :)

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