Red Bull chief picks out ‘weaknesses’ of two of Verstappen’s main F1 rivals

Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris are “exceptional talents” but both have “weaknesses” compared to F1 world champion Max Verstappen, according to Red Bull’s Helmut Marko. 

Ferrari’s Leclerc and McLaren’s Norris are two of the highest-rated drivers on the current F1 grid but Marko believes both have shown key weaknesses. 

The pair have emerged as two of Verstappen’s closest challengers over the past two seasons but lack the consistency of Red Bull’s three-time world champion, Marko claims. 

And Marko sent out an ominous warning to those hoping to topple Verstappen in 2024 by insisting the Dutchman is “not yet at the limit” and “will get even better”. 

“Leclerc and Norris are certainly exceptional talents,” Marko told F1-Insider. 

“But both have shown weaknesses in consistency in the past. What's more, Max is not yet at the limit. He will get even better. 

“It's our job to provide him with a car as good as the one he had in 2023. Then he will be the benchmark again.”

Verstappen heads into the upcoming 2024 season aiming to win his fourth consecutive world championship, a feat that would mirror Sebastian Vettel’s run of success between 2010-2013. 

The 26-year-old is in the form of his life, having demolished the opposition last season by winning 19 of the 22 races in 2023. 

Verstappen amassed enough points on his way to his third drivers’ title that he could have won the constructors’ championship single-handedly for Red Bull.

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