Flavio Briatore on what ‘we have to accept’ in key Max Verstappen observation

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen getting ready before a practice session. Barcelona, Spain, June 2023.

Max Verstappen getting ready before a practice session. Barcelona, Spain, June 2023.

Max Verstappen has proven that it is not just about the car but also the driver according to Flavio Briatore.

While the RB19 has looked a cut above the rest of the competition this year, currently it is just one driver who is dominating the field.

Verstappen is on a eight-race winning run stretching back to the Miami Grand Prix and Briatore believes this is conclusive proof in the car v driver debate.

‘One man show’ Max Verstappen proving it takes more than a car to be quick

Despite driving the same car, Verstappen is comfortably beating his team-mate Sergio Perez in all departments this year.

The Dutchman is 125 points ahead of the Mexican and in the most recent race at Spa, Verstappen crossed the line 22 seconds before Perez did.

Verstappen then is proving that it takes more than just a quick car to be the best according to former Renault team principal Briatore.

“One man show, Max Verstappen demonstrated that the difference is not only made by the car but also by the driver,” Briatore told Il Riformista. “He started from behind [in Spa], recovered, gave Perez twenty seconds.

“We had 380 thousand enthusiastic spectators in the rain for two days: it is precisely the sign that the perception of Formula 1 is very high at the moment despite the fact that there is an undisputed ruler of the Grand Prix. The real protagonist was the public who were happy even in the rain, they danced, they rejoiced: a show within a show.”

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F1 ‘has to accept’ Max Verstappen’s dominance

Briatore went on to assess the other teams currently running behind Verstappen and described the McLaren as “shipwrecked” while Lewis Hamilton was showing signs of improvement.

“The McLarens are shipwrecked, gone,” the 73-year-old said. “Hamilton was in the running, for Ferrari a good third place which is proof that he is improving.

“Great performance by Verstappen, he’s unbeatable right now. We have to accept that there is this great champion who is dominating.”

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