Andretti believes Verstappen will only get better

Mario Andretti believes that the rest of the 2023 Formula 1 grid should be worried the longer Max Verstappen continues to improve as a driver

-

Mario Andretti believes Max Verstappen will only get better the longer he continues in Formula 1.

Verstappen, who dominated the majority of the 2022 season, comes into the new year hoping to become only the fifth driver in the sport’s history to win three consecutive titles.

The Dutchman set a new record for the most wins in a single F1 campaign, with 15 victories.

“He showed the quality of his driving quite clearly, in the last couple of years, and it’s only going to get better,” Andretti exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com.

“He’s young enough to be able to perform at the highest level for the foreseeable future. And again, if you’re the competition, you better worry about it.”

Nothing unusual about quieter 2022

2022 saw the arrival of radically different regulations designed to cut costs and produce better quality racing.

Andretti feels it’s not unexpected given the differing designs from each of the 10 teams.

“I think it was a bit of a mix, which is somewhat to be expected; whenever you have a change of regulations that’s so massive, it was a total redesign of the cars,” said Andretti.

“So you can expect that teams will deal with a situation differently. There’s some that had too much downforce, and they were experiencing a lot more porpoising and others, and so on, and so forth. 

“But there’s nothing unusual about that whenever you have a huge change. So the season was still as interesting as you want it to be because teams were always continuously trying to solve the situation.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc leads ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Albert Gea

Andretti shocked and disappointed at Ferrari’s struggles

2022 had started brilliantly for Ferrari with a 1-2 in Bahrain and a victory for Charles Leclerc in Australia, but by the time the F1 circus returned to Europe, Red Bull took complete control.

Ferrari could not fight back as a series of poor strategy calls, driver mistakes, and reliability issues put them further behind, with Mattia Binotto losing his job at season’s end.

Andretti, who enjoyed two spells driving for Ferrari’s F1 and sportscar outfits, was shocked and surprised to see the team struggle but is hopeful they have learned from the mistakes which derailed their 2022 season.

“[I was] shocked and somewhat disappointed; as you can imagine, I’m a Ferrari fan, as you would expect. And, after a dismal season two years ago, they had to pay for something and ride it out,” explained Andretti.

Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc at 2022 Abu Dhabi GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“Now all of a sudden they were, at the top of the game and then unfortunately, to their admittance, I mean that they admitted some mistakes made down the stretch, [particularly on] strategy. 

“Some driver mistakes, for instance, maybe for being so much under pressure. Nevertheless, I’m sure that they learned from that. It’s going to be interesting [to see] how the season goes for them.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Lewis Hamilton looks on in a press conference at the 2024 pre-season test in Bahrain | Mercedes / Jiri Krenek

Lewis Hamilton upbeat after Mercedes disaster in Chinese GP qualifying: Sh*t happens

0
Lewis Hamilton admits his changes made to his car prior to qualifying for the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand...

Christian Horner: Perez driving for Red Bull future

0
Christian Horner praised Sergio Perez's recovery after a chastening 2023 Formula 1 season, as the Mexican completed a Red...
Max Verstappen celebrates pole position after qualifying for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Starting Grid for F1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix

0
Max Verstappen secured a dominant pole position for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, marking Red Bull’s 100th pole in...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen roars to Chinese GP pole as Hamilton sinks to new low

0
Max Verstappen will start on pole for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton's wretched start of...
George Russell of Mercedes leads Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the Sprint ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Chinese Grand Prix 2024 – Qualifying Results

0
Max Verstappen clinched pole position for the 2024 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, continuing his dominance with a fifth...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Sprint Qualifying ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024 Qualifying – Highlights

0
As the Formula 1 season progresses, the intensity mounts at the Shanghai International Circuit with the qualifying session for...
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez after the F1 2024 Chinese GP Sprint Race | Mercedes / Wolfgang Wilhelm

Lewis Hamilton offers bleak excuse for lack of Verstappen defence after Rosberg criticism

0
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he did not try to fight Max Verstappen after the Mercedes star was denied a...
Lewis Hamilton looks on ahead of hitting the track in Friday practice at the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Sam Bloxham / Mercedes F1 team

Unsympathetic Lewis Hamilton blames Lando Norris for Lap 1 Sprint Race incident

0
Lewis Hamilton offered little sympathy to Lando Norris after the McLaren driver lost the lead of the 2024 Chinese...
Sprint winner Max Verstappen celebrates ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen explains source of Red Bull car issues during Chinese GP Sprint Race

0
A poor Sprint Qualifying effort by Max Verstappen gave everyone hope that Formula 1 might see a different winner...
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc during 2024 Chinese GP weekend | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc demands Sainz talks after Ferrari drivers Chinese GP Sprint clash

0
Charles Leclerc accused his Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz of going "over the limit" and said the pair would sit...
- Advertisment -