Vettel defends Verstappen: ‘Hamilton, Schumacher, myself never had it easy'

Four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has lept to the defence of Max Verstappen following his dominant start to the 2023 season.
Sebastian Vettel at
Sebastian Vettel at

Verstappen has won eight of the opening 10 races in F1 2023 to build an incredible 99-point lead over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

The Dutchman is on course to take his third consecutive title this year, while it’s probable Verstappen will move ahead of Vettel in the all-time F1 winners list, only behind Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

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Vettel was asked about Verstappen’s incredible run of form at the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the weekend.

He told the media: “You have to give him credit, he is performing fantastic. He is incredibly talented and makes no mistakes

“As soon as you drive at the front because you are doing well, people are quick to say that it is boring and that you win 'easily.' 

“But there is much more at play than just lap times. I'm sure Lewis Hamilton never had it easy during his dominant years, just as, for example, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and myself never had it easy.

“It is an incredible achievement to conceive and build a car that can beat the competition in every race weekend. The fact that Red Bull does well every weekend is due to perfection, consistency and the qualities of the team."

Red Bull could become the first team in F1 history to remain unbeaten across an entire season by winning every race.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Vettel believes his former team could do it.

“With this car, that chance is definitely there,” he added.

“Reliability should never let the team down, no crazy things should happen and they have to survive all the first laps.

“No team has ever managed to do it, although McLaren was close in 1988. So anything is possible, but we can only wait and see."

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