Former F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has insisted that Red Bull’s dominance must not overshadow Max Verstappen’s achievements in recent years.
Dutchman Verstappen is well on his way to a third straight Drivers’ title having moved to a 99-point lead over teammate Sergio Perez after winning eight of the opening 10 races.
It’s been an amazing continuation of the form that saw him set a new record for the number of races won in a single season last year, with that mark of 15 looking under threat given the dominance of the RB19.
But while Verstappen has outperformed every one of his rivals, including Perez in the same machine, many have pointed to Red Bull’s command at the top of the pecking order as a way of diminishing his own efforts, something Vettel has been quick to do. defend.
“You have to give him credit, he’s performing fantastic. He’s incredibly talented and he doesn’t make mistakes,” four-time champion Vettel told media at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
“As soon as you drive up front because you’re doing well, people are quick to say it’s boring and you win ‘easy.’
“But there’s a lot more at stake than just lap times. I’m sure Lewis Hamilton never had it easy during his dominating years, just as, for example, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and I never had it easy.”
“It is an incredible achievement to conceive and build a car that can beat the competition on every race weekend. The fact that Red Bull does well every weekend is down to perfection, consistency and the qualities of the team”.
Everything is possible
It has been said that Red Bull will become the first team in F1 history to win every race in one season, with Mercedes driver George Russell making that claim after the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
“With this car, that opportunity definitely exists,” Vettel said.
“Reliability should never let the team down, crazy things shouldn’t happen and they have to survive all the first few laps.
“No team has managed to do it, although McLaren came close in 1988. So anything is possible, but we can only wait and see.”