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Verstappen brilliance not just his 10-race record says Ferrari F1 boss

Ferrari Formula 1 boss Fred Vasseur reckons Max Verstappen has not made a mistake for two years - a feat more impressive than the Red Bull driver’s 10-race win record.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Content Pool

Defending two-time world champion Verstappen moved clear of Red Bull predecessor Sebastian Vettel and Alberto Ascari by scoring a 10th consecutive grand prix victory.

But this achievement, wrapped up in the 2023 Italian Grand Prix earlier this month, is not as impressive as Verstappen’s consistency, according to Ferrari chief Vasseur.

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He believes that the Dutch driver has not made a mistake for the past two seasons.

Vasseur said: “What is impressive is that, for sure, [Red Bull] always had mega pace.

“From Monza to Monaco, you can cover all the aspects of the track - they were performant and this is impressive.

“But I think the most impressive for me is that Max, it's not just about the last 10 races, but it's about the last two years.

“I would say that he didn't do a single mistake.

“For sure, it's easier to not do mistakes when you have margin on the others and so on.

“But even in these kind of circumstances, he is able to manage the situation very well.”

Vasseur zeroed in on Monza, where second-starting Verstappen pressured Carlos Sainz into locking up at first chicane to delay the Ferrari driver’s corner exit and mount a pass.

He continued: “He put some pressure on Carlos, but never too much.

“He didn't take risk and he knew that he had a difference of pace and he was convinced… that if it's not possible during the first stint, it will be around the pitstop.

“I was not very, very confident in the fight with Max after lap 10 when I saw that the pace was there and they had no degradation. I thought it will be quite difficult.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari, congratulates Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, after the race

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari, congratulates Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, after the race

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“But overall, I think it's in this kind of race where he was the most impressive, to not do a single mistake over two seasons. It's just mega.”

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Ferrari brought fresh engines and an aggressive low-drag package for the Italian GP to maximise its hopes of beating Red Bull. Sainz finished third and Charles Leclerc fourth.

Asked if the RB19s could be beaten, Vasseur said: “After a weekend like that, you can say that we are not that far away.

“Perhaps in term of pace during the weekend, one or two tenths, not much more to stay in front. But it is like it is.

“They are still in front and both of them they are not doing mistakes this weekend.

“But I was expecting that putting Max under pressure or into the fight he could do some mistake, but it was not the case at all again. But let's try again.

“Let's be a bit more performant to stay close to the two Red Bull and it will be the best way to fight and perhaps to put them a little bit more under pressure.”

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