Only the 'racing gods' will prevent Max Verstappen from winning the Formula 1 title this season, according to David Coulthard.
The sport has been waiting for a duel between the Dutchman and Lewis Hamilton for the last few years and it looks as though we're going to get it this season.
Certainly, it's already hard to see any other driver managing to join the fight - though that would be even more exciting if we had a third party - and a head-to-head battle between the Red Bull and Mercedes men looks to be the main event this year in the sport.
Already, both have landed blows with Lewis taking the first race of the year in Bahrain as he held off Max in the closing laps whilst the Dutchman struck back, beating Hamilton at Imola after a bold move at the first chicane on the opening lap.
Clearly, we're looking set for an engrossing season as we head to round three at the Portimao circuit in Portugal this weekend but, for David Coulthard, it's only going to be reliability issues or problems of that ilk that stop Verstappen from taking the crown this year, not the efforts of Hamilton.
Quoted by the Daily Mail, the former McLaren and Red Bull driver explained:
“They are the real deal in terms of outright pace. Red Bull have consistently delivered a competitive car.
“There’s no question if you can deliver the lap time in qualifying and then you don’t have reliability issues in the race…that’s where Mercedes have been so strong over the last several years – they have had qualifying pace and unbelievable reliability.
“So the only thing I think can stand in the way of Max and Red Bull Racing really taking this championship is the racing gods maybe getting involved in a few things with reliability because he’s definitely experienced enough and definitely mature enough, which at 23 seems incredible, but he is ready. He’s more than ready.”
Coulthard is right to mention Red Bull's reliability as, at times in recent seasons, the car has let down Verstappen a little with technical issues - though it's never been that massive a problem as ultimately Mercedes have been too quick anyway.
This year, though, they look at the very least on an even footing with the Mercs - and perhaps even in front as things stand - and they'll be keen to ensure their car is bulletproof as they look to end the Silver Arrows' stranglehold on the sport.News Now - Sport News