Max Verstappen pinpoints major Red Bull threat as F1 2024 wish in doubt

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen looks unimpressed at the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen looks unimpressed.

Max Verstappen would like another season with limited competition, but expects the pack to close up for F1 2024 as he keeps a particularly close eye on McLaren.

Verstappen and Red Bull wiped the floor with the competition in F1 2023, piecing together a season of unprecedented dominance.

A record 19 grand prix wins out of a possible 22 went Verstappen’s way as he became a three-time World Champion, while Red Bull won 21 overall to retain the Constructors’ Championship in similarly comprehensive fashion.

Max Verstappen wary of McLaren F1 2024 threat

While Red Bull and Verstappen continued to set the pace all the way to the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, Singapore their only blip, the chasing pack did narrow the deficit after Red Bull made the mid-season call to switch focus to the RB20.

How the order will look for F1 2024 when Red Bull unleash this new challenger remains to be seen, though Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin, all part of F1 2023’s ‘best of the rest’ pack, will hope to be snapping at Red Bull’s heels come the F1 2024 curtain-raiser in Bahrain.

McLaren were the feel-good addition to this group in the latest campaign, their B-Spec MCL60 surging the team up the order as an impactful development programme from there saw them emerge as Red Bull’s closest challenger at various rounds.

And while Verstappen does not want to face competition in his bid to become a four-time World Champion, he doubts he will get his wish, with McLaren his team to watch.

“Running the same season will be almost impossible,” said Verstappen, as per NOS. “Of course, we will try to develop our car further, but the other teams have learned a lot from us.

“I hope there won’t be more competition, but I expect there to be.

“Every weekend it was a different team that showed itself just as well. McLaren, for example, seemed to have it all sorted out for a while, but then had a dip again.

“They seem to know which way to go and there are good people working there. But also at Mercedes they will want to win again and Ferrari also knows what they have to do.” recommends

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While Red Bull had the victory scene effectively on lockdown in F1 2023, that was not always the case for one-lap performance, giving Verstappen further reason to expect a stern F1 2024 challenge.

Ferrari led the way for non-Red Bull pole positions, claiming seven.

“It’s automatically going to be closer together,” Verstappen reaffirmed.

“You also saw it in qualifying this past season: it wasn’t always easy.”

Verstappen nonetheless goes into F1 2024 as overwhelming favourite to become a four-time World Champion, which would see him match Sebastian Vettel’s streak of four consecutive titles, achieved with Red Bull between 2010-13.

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