Red Bull: Added F1 experience making Verstappen ‘complete’ driver

Red Bull chiefs thinks Max Verstappen’s growing experience is one of the key factors that has made him a ‘complete’ driver in Formula 1 right now.

Red Bull: Added F1 experience making Verstappen ‘complete’ driver

The Dutchman has taken control of this year’s Formula 1 championship battle, with his six wins so far this season allowing him to open up a 46-point advantage at the top of the standings over teammate Sergio Perez.

But while he has always shown incredible talent, occasions earlier in his career would give way to small mistakes would not have allowed him to pull off the kind of performances he has produced this season.

Team chiefs Helmut Marko and Christian Horner were particularly complimentary over the way Verstappen held off the faster Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in the closing stages of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko told Autosport: “It was unbelievable for me; not making a single or even the smallest mistake under that kind of pressure.”

Marko reckoned it was an ever more impressive performance than when he held off Kimi Raikkonen to claim his maiden F1 win at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

He added: “There were about the similar amount of laps to go. But at that time, Max wasn’t as experienced as he is now, and I think the Ferrari in Barcelona 2016 wasn’t as fast as it was now.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“Especially in sector two [in Montreal], the Ferrari was much quicker than us. 

"But fortunately he managed it. Sainz had two or three small mistakes at the hairpin, but to stay that cool under huge pressure is really impressive to me.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes that added knowledge from his years in the sport have lifted Verstappen to his current level, as he reckons he is driving as well as he did in his championship winning 2021 campaign.

“He drove some amazing races last year under massive pressure,” explained Horner. “You think of races like Austin and so on. I think he’s just so good under pressure.

“We’ve seen it so many times this year: Miami, Baku, etc. He’s just got more experience and he’s a very complete driver.”

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