Formula 1 Managing Director, Ross Brawn has said that Red Bull driver, Max Verstappen, is in the “most clinical form” of his career.
Despite having the third best car on the grid this year, Verstappen took his maiden pole position in Hungary, and has won three races, at the Austrian, German and Brazilian Grand Prix, and ended up third in the driver’s championship, ahead of both Ferraris.
Although the 22-year-old has shown an abundance of speed since he burst on to the F1 scene, in the past he has been too aggressive and has made too many mistakes, but this year that has changed, and Verstappen has become one of the most consistent drivers on the grid.
The Red Bull driver finished in the top four in the first six races of the season, and has not been off the podium since the United States Grand Prix, and Ross Brawn believes this form now shows that he has matured as a driver.
“Could one ask for more from Max Verstappen? That would be hard, because, in his fifth year in Formula 1 he finished the championship in the top three for the first time and enjoyed an excellent season overall.” commented Brawn.
“Max scored the first pole position of his career in Hungary (and then a second in Brazil) and took three wins during the season to take his career total to eight.
“Perhaps more significantly we saw fewer mistakes, which in the past have mainly been due to his impatient nature.
“Those episodes of hot-headedness have cost him dearly in previous seasons but this year rash moments were few and far between.”
Verstappen was never in a position to be able to challenge for the world championship this year, with a car that is noticeably slower than Mercedes and at times, Ferrari, but Honda have shown a strong rate of improvement over the course of 2019, and with the form currently being displayed by the Red Bull driver, Brawn believes that both Verstappen and Red Bull could be in the hunt for the title next year.
“The Red Bull youngster, who only turned 22 a couple of months ago, is now undoubtedly in the most clinical form of his career to date and is now ready to challenge Lewis Hamilton.” Brawn added.
“Of course he needs a car capable of doing that, which was not the case in the early part of this season.
“However, the Red Bull-Honda partnership took a number of steps forward during the season and is now beginning to produce results that suggest they will be fighting for the championships in 2020.”