Formula 1 pundit would ‘put my money’ on Max Verstappen winning title with Ferrari

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, victorious. Bahrain, March 2023.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, celebrates his victory. Bahrain, March 2023.

While Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz chase a first Ferrari podium of this season, former F1 driver Michael Bleekemolen believes Max Verstappen would be well on his way to the title in that same car.

Verstappen has been in a league of his own the past two seasons, the Dutchman claiming 15 wins out of 22 on his way to the 2022 title while this season he’s already won two grands prix to etch out a 15-point advantage in the standings.

His form is in sharp contrast to that of Ferrari, who despite talking up a title challenge have yet to finish inside the top three.

But while the car and the engine have received a lot of the blame for that, Bleekemolen reckons if Verstappen was in that same car, he’d be winning races.

“Yes, I would put my money on it. I think so,” he told GPFans. “Who is good, the car or the driver? That’s true in a lot of teams.”

So much so he believes Verstappen could even do well in today’s McLaren.

“Put Max in a McLaren,” added the 73-year-old, “he might be in the middle of the field or even further forward. Who’s to say?” recommends

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The age-old car versus driver debate

Formula 1 drivers need a good car in order to win races, but it takes a good car and a great driver to win championships.

That simply put is because while the car is important, so too is the driver and even amongst F1’s 20 men, there are varying levels of talent.

While Verstappen won race after race last season, 15 in total, his team-mate Sergio Perez in the same car only claimed two.

Prior to that Lewis Hamilton won four titles on the trot, 42 wins in total, while his team-mate Valtteri Bottas managed just eight race wins over those four seasons.

One could say in both Perez and Bottas’ cases they were the number two driver, but that is because neither had the pace to challenge their team-mate for the top spot within their respective teams.

A good car with a good driver can win races but it takes a good car with a great driver for championships.