Timo Glock finds the only way to beat Max Verstappen on current form

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez goes to congratulate race winner Max Verstappen. Miami May F1 2023

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen offer their congratulations.

Timo Glock reckons such is Max Verstappen’s advantage over his rivals that the only thing that can stop him from winning this year’s World title is himself.

Cruising to last year’s World title by a comfortable margin of 144 points ahead of his nearest rival, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Verstappen won 15 of the year’s 22 races and wrapped up the title with four races to spare.

This year, despite a challenge from his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, Verstappen is seemingly on his way to a third successive Drivers’ Championship having extended his advantage over the second Red Bull to 39 points with his fourth win of this season.

Verstappen won the Monaco race on what was a weekend of contrasting fortunes for the team-mates. While the Dutchman put in a lap that Christian Horner reckons will go down in “history as one of the best laps ever here in Monaco”, Perez crashed in Q1.

Starting on opposite ends of the grid, Verstappen had but one big moment on his way to a second Monte Carlo victory, while Perez bounced off the barriers several times, broke his RB19’s front wing, and hit Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen.

Bagging the Monaco win on the back of his Miami Grand Prix victory, Verstappen also dealt a blow to Perez as he shut down the Mexican driver’s claim to the ‘King of the Streets’ title.

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‘Unless his technique throws a spanner in the works…’

It has Glock predicting that unless Verstappen trips himself up, no one can stop him from winning this year’s World title.

“With his 39th victory for Red Bull,” he wrote in his latest Sky Deutschland column, “Max Verstappen currently has the feeling that there is no upper limit for him.

“On all tracks, under all conditions, he is currently the measure of all things. Unless his technique throws a spanner in the works, it’s really hard to beat him.”

But whether Verstappen hangs around long enough to challenge the record of seven World titles remains to be seen with the driver already saying he may consider other racing series after his Red Bull deal expires at the end of 2028.

“At 25,” Glock continued, “Verstappen can still achieve anything, the only question is whether he wants to.

“He has already said on one occasion or another that he doesn’t know how long he can take the stress of Formula 1 with 23 races still want to do.

“He is definitely fulfilling his Red Bull contract, until then we will see many more victories from him.”

Perez has Alonso lurking right behind him

Verstappen, Glock concedes, was handed an easier time in Monaco by his team-mate Perez and his qualifying crash.

It was the second time in three race weekends that Perez binned his RB19 in Q1 with Glock saying he cannot afford any more mistakes if he wants to challenge for the World title.

Perez also found himself only 12 points ahead of Fernando Alonso with the Spaniard taking second on the day, his fifth podium in six races.

“For Sergio Perez, on the other hand, Monaco was a weekend to forget,” he added. “That must not happen to him if he wants to fight Verstappen for the World Championship.

“Fernando Alonso, with his vast experience and the speed of the Aston Martin, has a lot of fun in the car and is highly motivated. Perez can no longer make any big mistakes because Alonso is always there, always on the podium and is slowly putting pressure on Verstappen.

“And then the question is: what else is coming from Aston Martin? One or the other update was announced there throughout the season, so you can be curious.

“Verstappen still has a comfortable lead – but if one or two races don’t go well, the technology might thwart the calculation, Alonso is there and takes the points with him. Alonso can really become a main opponent for Verstappen. So maybe there will be another exciting fight.

“Sure, Verstappen or Alonso will also have a bad race weekend at some point, but then Perez has to be there, deliver and take the points with him.”