Red Bull unbeatable? Max Verstappen shuts down Lando Norris F1 2024 title hopes

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen pictured during the Thursday press conference in Monaco

Max Verstappen pictured during the Thursday press conference in Monaco

Max Verstappen has responded to Lando Norris’s suggestion that he could be in the running for the F1 2024 title, arguing that Red Bull’s experience makes them “very tough to beat” to the World Championship.

Verstappen has established himself as the dominant force of current era of F1, winning 49 of the last 73 races since the start of his maiden title-winning campaign in F1 2021.

Can Lando Norris challenge Max Verstappen for F1 2024 title?

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

That season ended with Verstappen dethroning Lewis Hamilton in highly controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi, with he and Red Bull largely untroubled over the last two seasons.

However, McLaren’s recent form – which saw Norris claim his first F1 victory in Miami before running Verstappen close at Imola, finishing just 0.725 seconds behind at the chequered flag – has created fresh hope of a multi-team battle at the front of the grid.

Despite currently trailing Verstappen by 60 points in the Drivers’ standings, Norris has refused to rule out a potential title tilt, claiming there is a “very long way to go” and “many, many things can happen” with only a third of the F1 2024 season completed.

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Speaking to media including in Monaco, however, Verstappen claimed Red Bull’s battle-hardened experience of being at the front for so many years makes them “very dangerous” in a title fight.

Asked what gives him an advantage over his competitors, Verstappen said: “I find that really difficult to comment on.

“I can just speak from my experience in Formula 1 where I think, over time, you get a lot more experience, I think you know how to handle certain situations a bit better.

“Plus being at the front for quite a few years and as a team, the way we operate, I think it can make a difference to teams that are trying to chase that.

“We just try to stay calm and collected, we know that over the last few races teams have been catching up or have beaten us, so of course we want to try and improve as well.

“But I do think with the experience that we’ve had over the last few years, it makes us a very tough team to beat in a Championship, because we don’t make many mistakes.

“You try to always optimise everything and that [applies], I think, to life in general. You keep on learning, you keep trying to be better.

“But I think that does make us very dangerous in a championship fight.”

Verstappen went on concede that McLaren and Norris should set lofty targets having proved a match for Red Bull over recent weeks – and he insisted that his approach is unlikely to change in the face of a greater threat.

On Norris’s ambitions, he said: “I think everyone should think like that. especially after the last two races, they are really in the mix.

“Of course they are quite a few points down at the moment, but if you suddenly start winning then it can turn around quite quickly.

“From our side we just keep on trying to improve our package and my approach has always been the same.

“It doesn’t matter about anyone else involved or another team involved. We just have to focus on ourselves, because that’s the only thing that we can control.”

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