Doubts over Max Verstappen greatness claim with FIA intervention needed first

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen and Red Bull celebrate his third World Championship.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull celebrate after he secures his World Championship.

Le Mans class winner Richard Bradley believes that only when Red Bull fall away from F1 dominance, which historically has been manufactured for teams in that position, will we find out whether Max Verstappen is an all-time great.

Formula 1 is very much in the era of Verstappen, the Dutchman having secured his third World Championship title in as many seasons with a P2 finish in the Qatar sprint race.

He went on to then dominate Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix, the perfect way to cap off a weekend where he became a three-time World Champion.

Richard Bradley feels Max Verstappen not yet proven F1 great

Verstappen has now won a remarkable 14 of the 17 grands prix so far in F1 2023 at the wheel of the Red Bull RB19, with the potential remaining for him to beat his own benchmark of 15 wins in a single season, achieved in 2022.

But, Bradley used Williams and Ferrari as examples of teams who have suffered from past intervention from the FIA and F1, believing this will eventually also be the case for Red Bull, at which point then he reckons we will see “how good Max Verstappen is”.

When asked on the latest edition of the On Track GP podcast how far away Verstappen is now from being an F1 great, 2015 Le Mans class winner Bradley replied: “He’s definitely entering the conversation, there’s no question, but I still stand by what I’ve said that he is in a position where he’s got a great team around him and obviously the car is very superior at the minute.

“Okay, when Sergio [Perez] is having a good day he gets the most out of it, and he’s struggling.

“There is taking nothing away from Max. I mean, at times this year, he kind of reminds me of the Terminator, you just can’t stop him. He’s just this unstoppable force that’s coming.

“And obviously three titles in a row, but I still think that if we’re talking about the all-time greats, firstly you have to remember okay, Max has done a lot of races, but there’s a lot more races now than there used to be when [Ayrton] Senna, [Michael] Schumacher, people like that were doing their seasons. There were only 16 races.

“So in terms of all the stats, yeah, it’s very, very impressive, but weighing it up against those, obviously if you’ve got a good car, then that period lasts for longer.

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“Now, I think we will see a period where Red Bull won’t have the most dominant car, because that’s the ebbs and flows of Formula 1. And historically, the FIA and FOM have always tried to target the dominant team. We saw it with the Williams situation at the end of 1993. We’ve seen it with the Ferrari situation at the end of 2004.

“And there will be a way and Red Bull won’t always have the best car, and then we’re going to really see how good Max Verstappen is.

“But as I said, don’t get me wrong, this year he’s been like the Terminator sometimes.”

On Track GP is a YouTube channel launched in conjunction between PlanetF1.com and DR Sports, and you can watch the full post-Qatar Grand Prix episode below.

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