‘Mistakes Are No Longer Allowed’: Jacques Villeneuve Believes Pressure Is on Max Verstappen for 2021 F1 Season

Published 04/11/2021, 7:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race on the podium with second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


It was during the Bahrain pre-season testing that we saw Red Bull start their campaign stronger than their previous seasons. The Milton Keynes team confirmed this as soon as the campaign started. They seemed to be faster than Mercedes and look like the prime contender for the title this season.

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Max Verstappen was faster through the pre-season testing and also during qualifying. However, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton triumphed at the end and stole the victory from the Dutchman’s hands.

Jacques Villeneuve, the former Formula 1 championship, believes an exciting championship fight is on the cards this season.

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Red Bull Racing has a great car, but they got caught off guard in Bahrain. They had victory in their pockets, but they found a way to lose the race anyway.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“It will be a long, top-level fight. The pressure on Verstappen has changed, mistakes are no longer allowed,” predicts the Canadian.

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

Verstappen and Red Bull have everything they need, claims Villeneuve

Red Bull have successfully developed on their RB16 from last season. Max Verstappen is fast as always and has a dependable car. Meanwhile, the team has a seasoned driver in Sergio Perez who has shown promise finishing P5 after starting from the end of the grid.

“This year, Verstappen has everything he needs and also a team-mate who can support him in the fight against Mercedes. Perez can do more for Verstappen than Bottas for Hamilton.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates second place on the podium with the trophy Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

“But we’ll have to wait and see how Verstappen will deal with the pressure this season. Because basically for the first time he has a real chance of winning the title,” explained the former driver.

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It was yet another Mercedes win at the season opener; however, the season looks like it is not going to be one-sided like last year. Red Bull are already fast and are scheduled to get their first major upgrades during the third race weekend at Portimao.

Red Bull are making sure they leave no stones unturned to put a stop to the Silver Arrows’ domination. Only time will tell whether the Milton Keynes outfit will pull that off.

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Do you believe Verstappen and Red Bull will come out at the top of the season?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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