Former F1 team boss does not see anyone challenging Verstappen: ‘Ferrari only challenges Checo’

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Former F1 team boss does not see anyone challenging Verstappen: 'Ferrari only challenges Checo'

Former Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has no doubt that the whole of the Netherlands is extremely happy with Max Verstappen’s performance, but he thinks that the Dutchman himself would like to be challenged. Steiner mainly points out the difference between Verstappen and teammate Sergio Pérez, who is challenged by the competition. The three-time world champion disappears over the horizon every time.

Verstappen started the 2024 season looking to pick up where he left off in 2023. He crossed the line first in both Bahrain and Jeddah and took pole position the day before. Currently the Dutchman is a size too big for everyone. “I think the Netherlands is very happy now,” laughs Steiner in conversation with the gentlemen from Ziggo during the Ziggo Sport Race Café. “It would be nice for Formula 1 if it became a bit more exciting, and I also think that Max would like to be challenged, because at the moment it almost seems too easy for him,” says the South Tyrolean.

Even though it was only the first two races of the year, the competition is already feeling discouraged. Ferrari seems to be the only team that could come close. Near the second Red Bull then. “I think Ferrari is getting closer, but you can see the difference between Max and Checo very clearly. Checo is challenged by Ferrari, but he cannot challenge Max in my opinion,” Steiner explains. “He’s on another level in that car. Ferrari has taken a good step, hopefully they can knock Max off the top podium, then you will be upset again,” the former team boss winks.

‘Red Bull is not suddenly slow’

The circuits in Bahrain and Jeddah are somewhat outliers, which is why many suspect that it is still too early to say that Red Bull is dominant again. However, Steiner does not think that the picture in Melbourne will be very different. “It seems unlikely to me that they will get closer to Max,” says the South Tyrolean. ‘I don’t think that Red Bull is suddenly slow and that Ferrari is suddenly two tenths faster. I think you are too optimistic, Jack’, laughs Steiner when he addresses Jack Plooij, who asked whether the field is getting closer together in Australia. ‘Then you can have a party again!’ concludes Steiner.

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