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Max Verstappen

'Verstappen could win in a Mercedes', claims Ecclestone

Max Verstappen has enjoyed a dominant two seasons in Formula 1 while Mercedes has slipped back in the pecking order - however ex-F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes the Dutchman could win with the Brackley-based squad.

Hamilton Verstappen
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Ex-Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has praised Max Verstappen, believing the Dutchman could win in less competitive machinery.

The three-time World Champion enjoyed a highly dominant F1 season last year, winning 19 out of the 21 races staged.

It marked a record-breaking campaign for both the driver and the Red Bull team, who emerged victorious in all but one race.

Ecclestone has hailed Red Bull's F1 operations and expressed confidence that Verstappen could win in a Ferrari or Mercedes, who were both unable to challenge at the front of the field last year.

"They have patiently endured Mercedes dominance, replacing each weak link one by one, developing the best team, the best design, the best car and the best driver," Ecclestone told Bild.

"Christian Horner has done an excellent job. Max is currently the benchmark in every field.

“You could also put him in a McLaren, and probably a Ferrari or a Mercedes, and he would still win."

Mercedes criticism

Mercedes endured its first winless campaign since the 2011 season and Ecclestone highlighted that both of its drivers endured a lacklustre year, as well as team.

“[Lewis] Hamilton failed a bit and [George] Russell wasn't as good as he thought he was either. Still, they shouldn't have lost so dramatically."

Ecclestone also dished praise to another F1 driver - McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri.

The Australian impressed during his first full season in the sport and secured a contract extension until the end of 2026.

“Young Australian Oscar Piastri impresses me the most, at 22 years old. He will surely be a champion,” Ecclestone said.

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