Sir Jackie Stewart’s ‘hard to believe’ prediction involving dominant Max Verstappen

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen with the number '1' board. Belgium July 2023

Sir Jackie Stewart believes Max Verstappen could win every World title between now and the end of his career, such is his incredible form in the Red Bull.

In a case of the right driver in the “right team at the right time”, Verstappen and Red Bull have dominated Formula 1 the last two years with the driver winning 27 of 36 races.

That’s in sharp contrast to his teammate Sergio Perez who has managed just four in that same time, and this season sits a distant second to Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings.

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Verstappen took another step toward a third successiveDrivers’ titleat Monza where he beat Perez by six seconds to extend his advantage over his teammate to 145 points.

And given that Stewart believes it would be “comparatively easy” for Perez to fight Verstappen for race wins and championship titles as he is in the same car, the triple World Champion has cast doubt over the possibility of anyone dethroning Verstappen in the coming years.

“It’s hard to imagine at the moment, but people also thought with Lewis Hamilton that no one could beat him as long as he was active,” he said in an interview with《图片报》.

“It would be comparatively easy for Sergio Pérez to win the title. He is in the right team at the right time – but only drives solidly and not outstandingly like Verstappen.

“It’s even a little easier for Max to win multiple World titles in a row than it was in my time because there are a lot more races.

“When I became World Champion for the first time in 1969, we only competed in eleven grands prix. This year the calendar consisted of 24 races (22 after China and Imola were cancelled).

“Given the number, you can afford to have a bad weekend and still have a chance of winning the title afterward. But that is only half the truth.”


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Stewart, though, acknowledges that Verstappen doesn’t have bad weekends.

One would be hard-pressed to find a notable mistake from Verstappen in this year’s championship but if one were to nit-pick it would be the occasional track limits violation.

But that’s where it begins and ends, Stewart applauding the driver’s ability.

“I don’t see much room for Verstappen to improve,” he said. “No matter whether it’s raining, windy, or hot, Max gets the absolute maximum out of the car everywhere.

“But you shouldn’t forget that he’s not a normal 25-year-old. He has been racing in Formula 1 since he was 17 and is much more experienced than others his age.”

There have, however, been a few complaints from some pundits saying Verstappen and Red Bull’s charge has led to a boring season with the same driver winning week in and week out, 10 on the trot as of Monza.

That was put to Stewart, the 84-year-old saying: “I don’t find it boring at all, the entertainment factor is huge!

“Sure, the World Championship has been decided, but things are tight behind it. If Max didn’t have such a good season, there would be a three-way championship fight between Sergio Pérez, Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso. Three drivers from three different teams. That’s exactly what the fans want to see.”

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