Three-time Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has ran the rule of the current F1 drivers and revealed who he would pick from the grid to form a potential team if he were a fictional team principal.
There have been no changes to the 2024 F1 field compared to 2023, a rarity in F1 history, with every driver staying at their team. And one of those outfits in particular have a driver pairing that Verstappen is extremely fond of.
When giving his answer, Verstappen appeared to favour one team over the rest. The Red Bull driver was quick to initially chose himself along with fellow driver Lando Norris.
“He [Norris] is still young, with a long career ahead of him,” Verstappen told German publication Auto Motor und Sport. “And he can also be very, very fast.”
Keeping the McLaren theme going, Verstappen added that, if he were not to pick himself, he would choose Oscar Piastri to complete a driver line-up.
“I would take Lando and Oscar,” Verstappen continued. “So the McLaren pairing. Both are good. Lando is just a bit older than Oscar. I think Oscar is a fast rookie.
“He still has things to learn and can improve his race pace, for example. But from what I see, he’s a smart guy. He will win his races.”
Piastri impressed fans and critics alike with his strong rookie season, in which he finished ninth overall in the 2023 Drivers’ Championship. The Australian also enjoyed two podium finishes, and took victory in the Sprint Race at the Qatar Grand Prix.
Will McLaren be competitive in 2024?
McLaren enjoyed a remarkable mid-season turnaround in 2023, bouncing back from early season difficulties to secure a total of nine podiums. The Woking-based team will undoubtedly seek to continue this upwards trajectory well into next season and pose a greater challenge to dominant Red Bull.
It’s not the first time that Verstappen has sung McLaren’s praises. In a recent appearance on Red Bull’s Talking Bull podcast, Verstappen held the progress made by the British racing team over the 2023 season in high regard.
“The [team] I think that was most impressive behind us from where they started to where they ended was definitely McLaren,” stated Verstappen. “It looks like they might be very strong next year .”