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Max Verstappen

Verstappen 'slam dunk' theory dismissed

Max Verstappen currently holds a strong lead in the 2024 Formula 1 drivers' championship - but is it a sure thing he will win the title this year?

Verstappen win Spain
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Former F1 driver David Coulthard has expressed doubt over Max Verstappen's title-winning chances for this season.

Verstappen started the season strongly, winning four of the opening five rounds, only for the three-time F1 champion and his Red Bull team to face an increased challenge from rivals of late, spearheaded by McLaren's Lando Norris.

The Briton emerged victorious in Miami, while Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc took the chequered flag in Australia and Monaco respectively.

Mercedes has also improved its form at recent events, looking more competitive at the front of the field in comparison to last year.

Speaking to Channel 4, Coulthard was noted for playing up the close competition of the grid this year, to which he replied: “The reason I’ve been saying it, is if you look at the actual lap time across the 20 cars that are there, it’s closer than it’s ever been in the history of the sport.

“Everyone has got closer to Red Bull. We’ve seen, therefore, Checo [Perez], who has been on average two or three-tenths slower than Max, has started to slip towards the back end of the top 10. 

“So Max is having to really work to get those victories.”

Verstappen title not a 'slam dunk'

Verstappen took the victory last time out in Spain by just two seconds over Norris, while the gap to the McLaren driver in Canada was just under four seconds.

The Dutchman currently holds a 69-point lead in the standings over the Briton as he guns for a fourth consecutive title.

However, with 14 races remaining this season, Coulthard does not see Verstappen's run to another championship as a foregone conclusion

“This is going to continue to ebb and flow depending on whether the track suits your car, whether your development profile is working for you throughout the remainder of the season,” he said.

“So I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that this is Max Verstappen’s world championship.”

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