Dutch analysts about Verstappen at Mercedes: ‘I would really like it’

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Dutch analysts about Verstappen at Mercedes: 'I would really like it'

There was not too much to discuss about Max Verstappen’s race in Australia, and so the future of the Dutchman was also discussed again in the NOS review, in which Jan Lammers and Jeroen Bleekemolen used their expertise and crystal ball to discuss the situation of the Dutchman.

In 2023, Verstappen still ruled Melbourne, but otherwise Verstappen and the Albert Park Street Circuit have mainly formed an unhappy marriage. At the age of 17, the Limburger already had to deal with technical problems on his debut, and his last retirement also took place on the street circuit in Australia. This time the culprit was a stuck brake. “When he drove away at the start, he already noticed that something was wrong,” Lammers realizes.

Where there’s smoke, there is fire

The former Formula 1 driver tries to explain to viewers what went wrong. ‘His right rear brake was stuck. The brakes work hydraulically. When you release your brake pedal, the brake itself also releases, but in this case that didn’t happen. Just like with the jack, it went one way but didn’t come back. Then you generate so much temperature that this happens.’

Bleekemolen adds: ‘Such a brake heats up during braking, but if he continues to brake, the brake becomes much too hot. Then you are talking about hundreds of degrees difference. “The brakes sometimes reach 800 degrees, but then cool down on the straights,” is how the driver describes the normal situation. ‘They got so hot that everything actually caught fire. That also makes it very difficult to analyze everything, because they can no longer see everything, because a lot of it falls off the car.’

Future Verstappen

This month, Verstappen had to regularly respond to his contract situation and his future, and Bleekemolen also responded to a possible departure to the now much weaker Mercedes. ‘I personally would find it very nice. Of course he is in a good place at Red Bull, and he is definitely not leaving there this year,” Bleekemolen says. ‘The question is: how good is the Red Bull? We think it is by far the best car, but you can see from Pérez that it may not be such an extremely good car at all. The car is of course fast, but Verstappen simply gets more out of it. I think he would have won this weekend in a Ferrari, and in a McLaren too. He would have also come far in a Mercedes.’

Lammers thinks that Verstappen now has few alternatives from a competitive point of view. ‘If everyone stays, the Verstappens will stay too. He forms a very good combination with this team. Suppose Helmut Marko, or Christian Horner, or Adrian Newey leaves, then they have right to be concerned, but Verstappen will always look at which car or with which team he has the best chance of winning,” says the Zandvoorter.

After the race, Mercedes briefly dropped to fifth place among the constructors, but still remained fourth after Fernando Alonso’s penalty. “There are not many choices now to leave,” Lammers refers to the weak performance of Toto Wolff’s team. Ferrari and McLaren, currently the biggest challengers, no longer have a place. ‘So I don’t think Verstappen is thinking about going to Mercedes now. They are in a bit of a downward spiral.’

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