Max Verstappen’s exciting F1 2024 prediction as Ferrari and McLaren hunt down Red Bull

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen surrounded by Red Bull mechanics on the Bahrain Grand Prix grid

Is Max Versatppen looking over his shoulder in the face of a renewed threat from Ferrari and McLaren?

Max Verstappen is convinced that the advantage between the top teams will continue to “swing a bit” as Ferrari and McLaren hone in on Red Bull.

Having eased to a third consecutive World Championship in F1 2023 with a record 19 victories, Verstappen had been widely expected to remain as the sport’s dominant force this season.

Max Verstappen expects F1 2024 ‘swings’ between Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Yet despite winning four of the first five races, Red Bull have come under threat from McLaren and Ferrari in recent weeks with Verstappen winning just one of the last three rounds.

After losing out to Lando Norris in Miami, Verstappen held off the McLaren driver to win by just 0.725 seconds at the next race at Imola before Red Bull suffered their most challenging weekend for some time at the Monaco Grand Prix, where the Dutchman could only finish sixth as Charles Leclerc triumphed for Ferrari.

Verstappen and Red Bull have both seen their leads in the World Championship reduced, with the Verstappen now just 31 points ahead of Leclerc and Red Bull leading Ferrari by 24 ahead of next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, round nine of a record 24-race campaign.

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Speaking to media including, Verstappen has admitted he was braced for a more competitive season in F1 2024 after his record-breaking 2023 campaign.

And he believes the battle between the three leading teams will continue to evolve from circuit to circuit, with the cars “a lot closer” this season.

He said: “I knew that it was never going to be like last year.

“To have a season like that is quite rare, so I always knew that of course this year was going to be a little bit different.

“But also I don’t really think about championship position or whatever. There are so many races left.

“Some races are a bit better for us, some are probably a bit worse for us and at the end of the day, it all works out.

“The cars are a lot closer. Some cars work better on street circuits, some work better in fast corners and low speed corners, so it will swing a bit.”

Verstappen likened the RB20 to a go-kart over the course of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend as the car struggled to absorb bumps, kerb strikes and camber changes.

With bumps and kerbs also a feature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the Dutchman is bracing himself for another challenging weekend in Montreal.

“We have to wait and see,” he said.

“A new surface as well, I think, – that might always give you some surprises. It’s probably also not going to be our strongest weekend because of that, but probably a little bit better than here.”

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