Max Verstappen ‘technically weak’ as Red Bull boss Lewis Hamilton plays down recommendations F1 | game

While Max Verstappen was “technically weak” and won four consecutive F1 titles between 2010 and 2013 with Red Bull, there was no better driver than Sebastian Vettel. According to Guillaume Roquelin, the team’s former head of engineering, he is the current head of the driver’s academy.

Despite winning back-to-back titles, Rocklin argued that Verstappen was still technically inferior to some of Red Bull’s former drivers, as he downplayed the Dutchman in light of his recent achievements.

He also declared that Vettel was already ahead of Verstappen when he signed with Red Bull – insisting the 25-year-old still has some rough edges that need improvement.

“I think Sebastian was a more complete driver than Max when he came with us. On a professional level, the technique, the mediation… [Michael] Schumacher was the ‘school’, his idol,” he told Eurosport France’s Les Fous du Volant podcast.

“I think Max probably had a natural talent and that’s what he relied on the most. But Sebastian was more thorough.

“Max has always been a boss. He has tremendous confidence, he knows what he wants and he’s very direct.

“But I’ll be honest, Max is technically weaker compared to the other drivers we’ve worked with. I think he still needs to improve a lot.

“He’s a leader with his approach, his results. But I think he can improve from a technical point of view and the way he builds the car.”

Verstappen’s continued headlines point to the idea that F1 has now entered the ‘Verstappen era’ after eight years of Mercedes dominance led by Lewis Hamilton.

However, Rocklin has dismissed those claims – instead the rise to Red Bull stardom began in 2016 when he won his first race in Spain.

From that moment it was clear that Verstappen had all the makings of a future F1 champion, but the car didn’t match his ambitions – two variables now in sync.

“He’s always been talented,” Rochlin added. “It’s not right to say we’re starting an era because he’s starting to win titles. It started when he won his first race with us.

“Then there’s the quality of the car, which we hope will continue to win titles. It’s up to us to build a car that lives up to its potential.”

Despite the recent demise of Hamilton and Mercedes, Dr Helmut Marko insists the seven-time world champion will be Verstappen’s biggest challenge next season despite issues surrounding the W13 car.

“[Charles] Leclerc was very strong in qualifying,” he told German broadcaster NTV. “But he is prone to making mistakes.

“I see (Lewis) Hamilton as a strong challenger for 2023. He has a clear advantage in terms of experience, he can push himself incredibly well and I’m sure Mercedes will put a great car on track next year.”

Hamilton is yet to win a race this season, while Verstappen has 14 wins and two additional podium finishes.

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