Former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber has said that he is a little worried that Red Bull do not currently have the performance in their car to ensure Max Verstappen delivers the Drivers’ title this season.
The Dutchman currently leads the way in the Drivers’ standings by six points from Lewis Hamilton but never looked close to winning the race in Turkey on Sunday afternoon, despite tricky conditions that normally favour him, as Valtteri Bottas had the Grand Prix covered pretty much from start to finish in his Mercedes.
Indeed, the Silver Arrows has looked strong of late with performances in Monza and Sochi also demonstrating their leap in pace, and Webber is a little concerned about Red Bull being able to give Verstappen the car he needs to close out his first-ever Drivers’ title.
Speaking to the F1 Nation podcast, he said:
“I think that my little concerns off the back of [the race in Turkey] are: are Red Bull giving Max the car for closing this championship out?”
“Because I think that I would have lost a lot of money for Valtteri to have the measure of Max in those conditions. I thought Verstappen would run rings around him all day long, but he couldn’t react to the speed of Valtteri.
“It was interesting. I think in terms of performance [in both the] dry and wet, Red Bull know they need to react to the Mercedes’ pace now, with these new engines that Mercedes have put in the back of the car, or some aero, or whatever’s going on.
“Max is really hanging in there. OK, he had a shunt in Monza, but I think [in] Russia he drove brilliantly, obviously, and that’s all he could get out of the car in Turkey as well.”
It’s certainly clear that Mercedes have made great strides in recent weeks and they look to currently have the fastest car, at least when it comes to straights and raw horsepower.
Red Bull’s challenger has hardly been a slouch this year, though, and they and Honda will be working feverishly to make sure Verstappen has the best chance possible to get this title win over the line.
We’re approaching our crescendo in Formula 1, and it’s still far too difficult to call.