Lammers about Verstappen’s upward trend: ‘Those upgrades have remained a bit underexposed’

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Lammers about Verstappen's upward trend: 'Those upgrades have remained a bit underexposed'

Jan Lammers has little problem with Max Verstappen dominating Formula 1 in recent seasons. De Zandvoorter points out that dominance is not a new phenomenon, and the degree of dominance is mainly a sign of the class of the Red Bull Racing driver.

A victory for Verstappen is usually not a bold prediction, but Sergio Pérez’s second place is often less certain. Yet Lammers saw that Pérez had been at a high level all weekend. “If Pérez is already so close behind Verstappen in qualifying, then you can expect that he can finish second,” Lammers says about the Mexican, who often does better in the races than during qualifying.

“Pérez naturally feels the heat from all the stories,” Lammers adds in the NOS Formula 1 podcast. The former Formula 1 driver is referring, among other things, to rumors about Carlos Sainz, who put himself in the spotlight in Australia. ‘Maybe it has been decided for a long time what they are going to do, but it was good that he was on his toes again. In terms of future prospects, Pérez has less to look forward to than the younger generation.’

Lammers suspects that Pérez can benefit from the turbulent situation at Red Bull. ‘After the death of Dietrich Mateschitz, the company changed hands. So there is a lot of speculation about the vision of the future. Are they going to sell or expand further? There have also been some stories around Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, so I think there’s a lot going on both internally and externally to think about. Where does that leave Pérez in this story? Maybe they like to keep a constant with all the variables.’

Verstappen dominance

The 67-year-old Lammers also commented on the show of power of Verstappen, who seemed to drive to victory with two fingers in his nose. ‘I personally think it’s fantastic. I really enjoy it, even though what Max does seems very obvious,” says Lammers, partly in response to tablemate Louis Dekker, who was critical of what he considered the emotionless communication over the on-board radio. ‘He has to do it again and again. It is never self-evident, just look at Lewis Hamilton. He has seven world titles, and should therefore be someone who can dominate, but he just can’t do it. I continue to appreciate the fact that Max always does that, even if he wins everything for the rest of the season.’

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Lammers about Verstappen's upward trend: 'Those upgrades have remained a bit underexposed'
Japan again delivered a one-two for Red Bull Racing.

Verstappen himself was not fully convinced of his pace in the race after qualifying. ‘On Friday they didn’t have much time to find the right setting, because on Friday afternoon he didn’t drive at all (due to the rain, ed.). On Saturday they had less time to do a long run. It’s a bit underplayed, but they had a great package of upgrades. They still had to fine-tune that on the track, and on Sunday there was also the sun,” Lammers explains that Verstappen did not get off the starting blocks as quickly as he did in 2023 at Suzuka.

The Grand Prix itself then offered several opportunities to optimize the setting. ‘They were able to make the first correction to the adjustment during the red flag, and they were able to make the second adjustment during the pit stop. Gradually they managed to fine-tune the adjustment. In the end he was very satisfied with it, so that is worrying for the next Grand Prix,” Lammers laughs.

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