Helmut Marko asserts that in terms of tire management for their Formula One cars, only Lewis Hamilton can rival Max Verstappen’s prowess.
Lewis Hamilton’s reputation as one of the most adept tire managers in Formula One’s rich history is well-established. He honed these remarkable skills during Mercedes’ era of dominance in the Constructors’ Championship.
An example of the Mercedes driver’s tyre management prowess can be found in the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, Hamilton showcased his capability to nurture ageing tires during extended stints while maintaining a competitive pace against his competitors.
Max Verstappen now enjoying Red Bull’s dominance is picking up such traits according to Red Bull’s advisor, Helmut Marko.
Notching his 13th victory of the season at the recent Japanese Grand Prix, Verstappen now holds a substantial lead over his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, in the World Championship.
The Dutch driver is on track to secure his third title in Qatar, as long as he finishes sixth or better in the sprint race or accumulates at least three points throughout the weekend.
Even though Verstappen has notched up an impressive 13 victories this season, his dominance has been notable since the fifth round of the season.
Throughout this period, Max Verstappen has encountered a few formidable challenges, which has allowed him ample room to refine his tire management skills and race strategy, thereby augmenting his already formidable racing talent.
Following an impressive performance at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, Marko conveyed his thoughts to Sky Germany: “He has improved in terms of pure speed and apparently he rolls up his performance with the greatest of ease. That is really incredible.
“Moreover, I think he has gradually become the best at managing his tyres. He drives sharply and quickly but maintains full control.
“I think that perhaps only Lewis Hamilton succeeded in that to the same extent.”
In his remarks after inching closer to securing his third World Championship, Verstappen stated:
“Unbelievable weekend. To win here was great. The car worked really well on every compound.
“The most important thing was to win the constructors. Very proud for everyone working at the track and at the factory. We are having an incredible year.”