Red Bull ace Max Verstappen is enjoying dominance on the F1 grid like no other driver ever had before him. His rival Lewis Hamilton won six titles with Mercedes in the turbo-hybrid era. But the seven-time champion never won more than eleven races in a single season. On the other hand, Verstappen won 15 races last season and ten out of twelve already this season. Even in 2021, when he narrowly defeated Hamilton, the Dutchman won ten races.
Hence, Max Verstappen has maintained a ten-win or above average since 2021. Lately, he has won eight races in a row and seems almost unbeatable because of this streak. But the curious question comes to our mind is, which F1 driver can beat the seemingly unbeatable Max Verstappen at present? The Red Bull advisor, Helmut Marko, lends his opinion, saying it is none other than Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. Even if there is an evolving fierce rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, the Red Bull taskmaster chooses the Ferrari star. But what is the reason behind such a pick? Let us find that out.
Helmut Marko Picks Charles Leclerc Over Lewis Hamilton
Recently, in an interview, Helmut Marko mentioned the only single-seater talent not signed with Red Bull who can beat Max Verstappen is Charles Leclerc. Moreover, the Red Bull advisor feels that the Ferrari star was their second choice if they could not sign Max Verstappen. In hindsight, he never praises any driver if it is not the Dutchman and definitely not Lewis Hamilton. The team also believes that Lando Norris could be a viable option to be a teammate of Max Verstappen. As per Marko, it is better if Hamilton does not team up with Verstappen.
Helmut Marko is full of praise about Charles Leclerc:— 🇬🇧🇹🇷 (@mehmetmsf1) August 16, 2023
🎙️Reporter: “Who is the best single seater talent not currently signed to a Red Bull"
🗣Marko: "Leclerc.. If we couldn’t get a hold of Max, we would’ve signed Leclerc. He’s the only man who can beat Max at the moment.”
If that happens, it would not be clear who is the fastest driver and who’s the second in the team. Moreover, Helmut Marko always says nobody can beat Max Verstappen in the same machinery, not even Lewis Hamilton. Adding to that, Marko acknowledged that other drivers could try different types of machinery. But Max, as per Marko, can help Haas or Alpha Tauri get pole position. That’s how much the Red Bull advisor has faith in the Dutchman. Moreover, the current double-time champion is only living up to his expectations and even beyond that. The 25-year-old driver is on his way to winning his third consecutive title.
The Different Success Stories Of Lewis Hamilton And Max Verstappen
The current double-time champion can be the first driver to win twenty races a season. Anyway, he is the first to win 15 races in a season. The previous best was 13 Grand Prix victories that belonged to Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. Clearly, Verstappen can break many more records if the Red Bull’s success story continues as long as their rivals did.
From 2014 to 2021, Mercedes won back-to-back constructor titles. Lewis Hamilton became the only driver to cross 100 Grand Prix wins. He currently stands at 103 race wins and 104 pole positions. The last Grand Prix victory for the seven-time champion came in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021. Since then, it has been too long a wait for Lewis Hamilton to get a win. But the wait continues.