Max Verstappen’s rivals have been warned the only thing that can stop him from winning is if “some pretty messed up stuff” were to go down, that’s according to Blake Hinsey.
Verstappen returns from the summer break chasing a record-equalling ninth successive race win, and he’ll do so in front of his home fans at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Almost immovable this season with only his teammate Sergio Perez getting the better of him early on in the campaign, the Dutchman already has 10 wins on the board and a 125-point advantage in the standings as he cruises toward a third World title.
‘You’d have to have some pretty messed up stuff happen to derail Max Verstappen train’
The records are lining up to be broken with Verstappen on course for the most wins in a season, the longest winning streak, the biggest winning margin in a championship, and the most points scored.
And all while Red Bull will be vying for 13 from 13 for the season in Zandvoort with the Milton Keynes squad hoping to extend their record for the most consecutive victories to 14.
It has rivals wondering what, if anything, can stop him with Sky Sports pundits debating that in their latest podcast.
“I think the pertinent question is, is there anything to stop him winning every single race that remains on the calendar? Because he’s just in form,” Natalie Pinkham asked.
“I suppose the summer break may have been disruptive. You know, they’re clutching at straws there. But some of the opposition may hope that just that little break in momentum may be enough to pull him off his stride ever so slightly.
“I can’t see it, though. I mean we’re talking about him winning by margins of 30 seconds. Plus, this is a guy in the form of his life or the car of his life, in the car of a generation.
“And, yeah, he’s surely going to storm to victory at the soonest possible opportunity.”
Verstappen’s quest for a third World title has been made easier by the car he’s driving as the RB19 is already being billed as one of the best cars ever to race in Formula 1.
So much so that Verstappen’s former performance engineer Hinsey believes even if he has to face engine penalties, Verstappen’s run can continue. In fact, the only thing that can stop him would be chaos on a Sunday.
“That the engine had been spectacular, and it doesn’t matter they can take engine penalties at every event if they wanted to fit new ones from here on out and still do reasonably well,” he said.
“I don’t see anything putting him off. It’s seriously impressive to watch. With that combination of car and driver and confidence level, you’d have to have some pretty messed up stuff happen to derail that train.”
Damon Hill offers rivals a glimmer of hope and then dashes it
But with Verstappen recently revealing he at times asks himself “is this still worth it”, 1996 World Champion Damon Hill offered his rivals a glimmer of hope as he suggested perhaps Verstappen will give it all up to play computer games.
That though, he concedes is a “very, very slim” possibility.
“I think there’s a slim chance he could get bored because listening to some of his comments about Formula One he seems quite negative about having to do any extra work or the amount of flying and stuff he has to do,” said the Briton.
“So you never know, he might just go ‘Ah, I can’t be bothered with this anymore’ and go off and plays computer games in Monaco.
“That’s a very very slim chance of that happening so yeah there’s nothing to stop him is there really?”