Jeroen Bleekemolen is gloomy for the rest of the grid now that the combination of Max Verstappen and the RB19 is proving to be a particularly strong one. The Dutchman is especially impressive with his long runs, where he put the rest of the field at a minimum of five to six tenths per lap. It will therefore be difficult for the competition to win a race, and they will have to rely on special circumstances such as the weather or, for example, a safety car, the analyst thinks.
In the Formula 1 Paddock talk podcast, Bleekemolen points out a difference with last year, which only makes it even more difficult for the competition to overtake Red Bull Racing and Verstappen. ‘The difference with last year is that he obviously didn’t have the best car last season, and now he has the best car by far. It is in a combination with him, because Pérez would have won it if Verstappen had not participated, but not so very easy, but relatively easy, “said the driver, who therefore has little good news for the rest of the season. grid. “That is certainly scary for the rest, because they now have that lead, so a team has to develop very well if they want to be there.”
Nevertheless, he does not consider the other teams completely without a chance, because in a season there are always races in which there are unexpected twists, or external factors such as the weather play a role in the outcome of a Grand Prix, so Aston Martin, Ferrari, for example, make whether Mercedes still have a chance of winning. “Still things always go wrong, and there are crazy races with red flags and rain, things are going to happen. If a team is a bit closer with a safety car at the wrong time, then you still have a chance of winning from others, but it won’t be easy.’
Verstappen drives impressive long runs
Bleekemolen sees that not only the pure speed, but also the tactical thinking ability of the Dutchman is in order, as well as his speed over a longer run. ‘He is also smarter with the strategy, he also thinks along with how you approach it, and those long runs of his are just incredibly good. That’s where he really makes the difference. Of course, he had pole, but the gap was very small, with Pérez of course but also with the rest. If you then see, also in the training sessions, how good those long runs are, yes that is not normal. Five to six tenths faster per lap, and also faster than Pérez if necessary. In the race he is just incredibly strong.’