Marko Points Out the Key Difference in Max Verstappen’s F1 Title Fight to Sebastian Vettel’s

Published 11/04/2021, 7:15 AM EDT
SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 02: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing talks with Dr Helmut Marko as he prepares to drive during practice for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


Back in the early 2010s, Sebastian Vettel went on a title spree, winning four consecutive world championships and one of the fewest drivers who had the pace to challenge him was Lewis Hamilton in his ‘Vodafone’ McLaren. Well, now, a decade later, a similar trend is starting to loom. Only here, it’s Max Verstappen in place of Vettel.

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The Dutchman, much like Vettel, is having to overcome the wrath of Hamilton. But, the question is, can he replicate Vettel’s 2010 campaign altogether?

Regardless, Verstappen has had an ecstatic season so far, bringing out the best of his driving capabilities to defeat the defending champion.

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Amidst the handful of similarities between Vettel and Verstappen, Dr. Helmut Marko, Red Bull F1 advisor, decided to peep over the other side of the story. The Austrian revealed the only difference between Verstappen and Vettel in their respective debut title fights.

What did the Red Bull boss say?

Marko opined that Verstappen’s ongoing title fight is much trickier compared to Vettel’s in 2010. Why you might ask? Well, 78-year-old pointed out that both Vettel and his teammate, Mark Webber, were in the race after the 2010 F1 title along with two other candidates; Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing drives during practice for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Hence, at some point, Vettel and Webber had to work in tandem with Red Bull to bring the championship to Milton Keynes amidst abundant threats from McLaren and Ferrari.

That was a completely different situation. At that time there were a total of four drivers in the championship fight. In addition to our drivers, Alonso and Hamilton,” he said during an exclusive interview with Auto Motor Und Sport.

Max Verstappen is a lone fighter: Marko

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The Austrian reckoned that Verstappen has been a lone warrior since the start of this season amidst his teammate, Sergio Perez‘s qualifying struggles. Hence, the fact that this season’s championship battle is between two drivers unlike in 2010 ups the intensity.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 5, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Francisco Seco

This time it is a duel at the highest level between Hamilton and Verstappen. I think the intensity is different. Verstappen is a lone fighter for most of the season because Perez had a certain endurance in qualifying. Similar to what happened to Hamilton in Austin,” he said.

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Overall, the good news is Perez is steadily inching closer to the title contenders which was pretty evident in Austin. Hence, will the Mexican offer a late yet crucial help to seal the championship for his Dutch teammate?

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Rohit Kumar

1436 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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