Ralf Schumacher fires Red Bull warning and makes big Max Verstappen prediction

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc leads Sergio Perez and eventual race winner Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez and Red Bull summoned in Abu Dhabi over radio communications.

Challenged in three of the last four Grands Prix, Ralf Schumacher has warned Red Bull that their rivals are coming for them.

Although Max Verstappen is in the midst of a six-race winning streak that runs from Japan to Las Vegas, in three of the last four races he’s only taken the chequered by four or less seconds ahead of his rivals.

He was two seconds up on Lewis Hamilton at the United States GP, although the Mercedes driver was subsequently disqualified, four ahead of Lando Norris in Brazil, and on Saturday night Charles Leclerc was only two seconds back.

‘Red Bull are coming under a bit of pressure’

That it was three different teams taking the fight to Verstappen bodes well for the future, says Schumacher.

“Red Bull are coming under a bit of pressure,” the German told Sky Deutschland. “The teams have gotten closer. That makes the whole thing exciting.

“We only have one more race, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Verstappen, though, is the odds-on favourite to win in Abu Dhabi and extended his current run to seven, 19 in total for the season.

Saturday night’s win in Las Vegas not only extended his record for the most wins in a single campaign but it was also his 53rd overall as he tied with former Red Bull driver and four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

He’s now only behind Michael Schumacher with 91 wins, and Lewis Hamilton, who tops the table with 103.

It begs the question can the Dutchman, who still has another five years to run on his Red Bull contract, break Hamilton’s record?

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Max Verstappen can “definitely” beat Lewis Hamilton’s record

Schumacher says “definitely” to that.

“In terms of age and talent, definitely,” said the former driver.

“One question is, does he want to continue driving for so long? And the other: does he always have such a good car?

“Next year, I think that will be the case. He has to take good care of Adrian Newey so that it continues like this.”

But he added that while “theoretically” he can do it, a rule change or a bad car could see his tally stall as Lewis Hamilton’s has with the Briton on 103 since 2021.

“Theoretically he can break it,” he continued, “but who would have thought that Hamilton would take so long and suddenly stop winning?

“In Formula 1 you need the team and that car behind. If a rule changes, things can quickly go in the wrong direction.”

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