"Verstappen is weak technically” - Ex-Red Bull F1 engineer reveals

Former Red Bull engineer Guillaume Rocquelin has pinpointed one key area where reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen needs to improve.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the grid.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the grid.

Rocquelin was part of Red Bull’s F1 setup until this year and was most notably Sebastian Vettel’s race engineer from 2009 to 2014.

Once Vettel left for Ferrari in 2015, he became Red Bull’s head of engineering, but earlier this year, he took on the role of head of driver academy.

Speaking on Eurosport France’s ‘Les Fous du Volant’ podcast, Rocquelin compared Verstappen to Vettel - two drivers he has worked with extensively during his time at Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Aston Martin F1 Team (Right) and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the FIA Press Conference.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Aston Martin F1 Team (Right) and Max Verstappen …

“I think Sebastian was a more complete driver than Max when he arrived with us,” said Rocquelin. At the professional level, technique, mediation…he was trained at the [Michael] Schumacher ‘school’, who was his idol.

“He asked a lot of questions, took a lot of notes and when he arrived with us he was very thorough. It’s no coincidence he won several titles. He was more prepared technically, mentally. I think Max maybe had more natural talent, that’s what he relied on the most. But Sebastian was the most complete.

“Max has always been a boss. He has enormous self-confidence, he knows what he wants and he is very direct. But I’ll be honest, Max is weak technically compared to other drivers we’ve worked with. I think he still has a lot of progress to make.

“He is a leader by his attitude, his results. But I think he can improve from a technical point of view and in the way of developing the car.”

Rocquelin praised Verstappen for the way he has grown as a driver this year compared to 2021.

"What struck me the most was that he has somewhat lost this 'desperate hunger' that he had last year," Rocquelin added.

"He has matured. He has gained consistency. Winning the championship has given him a lot of confidence and he drives in a different way.

"We can't necessarily speak of a single trigger. It is something progressive, there were several stages. He started F1 very young with great ambition and perhaps not the maturity that went with it. He also started with Toro Rosso, who perhaps had less stature and experience. Then the stages began when he arrived at Red Bull. 

"There was more confidence in the team, a good record, he was closer to his goal. He won a race immediately with us, which allowed him to take a step forward. Gradually, he won more races, and developed links with his engineers."

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