Max Verstappen has been nothing short of a gift for Red Bull in recent times. Moreover, he helped the Austrian team to get back to dominating the grid. However, until 2020, Red Bull could not provide Max with a championship-winning car. They were able to get closer to that goal next year. That’s when Max Verstappen broke the streak of Lewis Hamilton and won his maiden title.
Since last year, Max Verstappen has won 34 races and helped Red Bull win back-to-back two constructor titles. The Dutchman can also find himself at present in the elite club of three-time champions. Really, the 26-year-old driver brought joy back to the Austrian team camp. However, Red Bull knows that Max is not an easy driver to deal with.
F1 Chief Explained How Max Verstappen Heightened Problems In 2020
Pierre Wache, the technical director of Red Bull, recalled the experience of the 2020 season. Mercedes was way too fast for the Austrian team back then. Red Bull finished second as they were 254 points behind Mercedes. Wache recalls they had a lot of ups and downs in 2020. They started not very far off Mercedes but halfway to that season, they fell really low. Later, the Austrian team had a bit of improvement as well. In terms of development direction, Wach believes they went in the wrong direction and later recovered. As a result, they must have missed something in their analysis. Moreover, the outrageous skill level of Max Verstappen made it more confusing for Red Bull to identify the problem.
Later, when they identified what the driver can use as performance, really helped them to figure out the development process of the 2021 car. Moreover, Wache recalls they had some characteristics in 2020 that made it difficult to extract the performance theoretically. The problem Red Bull identified at the midseason was their car’s main limitation. After identifying that, they moved away from it. Wache proudly recalls that at the end of the 2020 season, when they were able to confirm the problem, it gave them a foundation for 2021.
The Dutch Driver Turned Things Around For Red Bull
Red Bull was the most dominant force in the F1 grid from 2010 to 2013 during the era of Sebastian Vettel. The great German driver went on to win back to back four titles as well as helping his team to do the same. However, things changed when the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014. That was the year when Mercedes reached the top of the table and didn’t come down until last year. The Brackley team dominated the whole turbo-hybrid era, winning eight titles in a row.
Lewis Hamilton was the most dominant driver in that period, winning six titles, adding to his maiden title back in 2008. Red Bull used to finish second at best because there was no stopping Mercedes in those eight years. However, when Max Verstappen made his F1 debut for the sister team of Red Bull, they knew they had a driver with the perfect winning mentality. Later, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko brought Verstappen to Red Bull from Torro Rosso.