Former Red Bull engineer: Verstappen is technically weak

Max Verstappen has come under intense scrutiny follow his decision not to follow Red Bull team orders at the 2022 Brazilian GP


With Max Verstappen coming under increasing scrutiny following hiss refusal to follow team orders at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, his former Red Bull engineer Guillaume ‘Rocky’ Rocquelin has said the Dutchman is technically weak compared to other drivers. 

Verstappen refused to let teammate Sergio Perez past in Sao Paulo, citing he had his reasons, despite having wrapped up the F1 Drivers’ Championship and the Mexican still in the fight for second position. 

“I’ll be honest, Max is technically weak compared to other drivers we have worked with,” Rocquelin, who is currently Head of Driver Academy at Red Bull, said on the Les Fous de Volant podcast.

“I think he still has a lot of progress to make.

“He is a leader in terms of his attitude, his results, but I think he can improve from a technical point of view and in the way he develops the car. Vettel was more complete.

“It’s no coincidence that Vettel has won several titles. He was more technically and mentally prepared.

“I think Max maybe has more natural talent, and that’s what I trusted more, but Sebastian was the most complete.”

Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering at Red Bull during the 2021 Russian Grand Prix| Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Paul Monaghan responds 

In response to Rocky’s words, Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan agreed and pointed out there are areas where Verstappen can improve as a driver.

“Maybe what he [Rocky] said was misinterpreted, but yes, of course Max can improve,” Monaghan said. 

“He may not thank me for saying this. But I think there are areas where he can improve a bit. 

“I know he’ll dive into himself and think about what he could do better over a season.

“But Max is an extremely technically gifted driver. He worked hard when he was young, often guided by his father and you can see that legacy. 

“He knows what he’s talking about inside the car. He knows what he wants.”

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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