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Zak Brown

Brown in striking Verstappen-Red Bull claim

Zak Brown has explained that despite Max Verstappen's domination of F1, he does not feel the Dutchman could win drivers' titles if he were currently racing for another team.

Zak Brown
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Zak Brown has said he does not believe Max Verstappen would be able to win F1 drivers' titles in any other car than the dominant Red Bull.

The McLaren Racing CEO feels the triple-world champion is one of only a few drivers in the series capable of taking crowns, but that they need to right car in order to do so.

With Adrian Newey leaving Red Bull and Verstappen rumoured to be considering his long-term future with the Milton Keynes squad, there has been growing discussion over who is more critical to the success of the team.

"Well, ultimately, you need both," Brown told Tom Clarkson on the Beyond the Grid Podcast, when asked if he would rather have a star designer or a star driver.

"I don't think without a star driver, you're gonna win, so you need both. First, it does start with the car - people ask me all the time: 'is it car or driver?' And it's like: 'well, it's both'," he added, before turning his attention to the prevailing force in contemporary F1.

"I think the way I characterise it is, I think there are six, seven drivers on the grid that will be world champions in the Red Bull. 

"As great as Max [Verstappen] is, and he's one of the best ever. I don't think Max wins the world championship today in any other car, other than the Red Bull."

'The driver is going to make the difference'

It has often been claimed that Verstappen's team-mate, Sergio Perez, would not be able to win the drivers' title in lieu of the Dutchman, let alone reach the levels of dominance the 26-year-old enjoys.

Whilst Brown did not go into detail on who he believes can win drivers' championships, his answer implied he does not count the Mexican as one of them.

"But then, when you look at the difference, and Sergio Perez is an excellent racing driver, who's shown on his day [he] can run with Max, but look at the difference there," Brown explained, before highlighting how the closing of the F1 field makes having a championship-calibre driver all the more important.

"So, I think you need both, because as Formula 1 gets closer, and Max is doing such a special job, but look at what's going on from P1, P2, P3, P4, P5," the 52-year-old said.

"One day we're [McLaren] P2, next day we're P5 and it's all moving around. So the cars are so close, that that's when the driver is going to make the difference. So you need both, at the end of the day."

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