Brundle: Some 'serious beating' needed from rivals to topple Verstappen

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Martin Brundle says Max Verstappen's current level of performance will require some "serious beating" by his rivals in the future if they ambition to counter the Red Bull charger's utter dominance.

Verstappen suffered a difficult start to his 2022 campaign due to Red Bull's reliability issues, but the team's improvements coupled with mistakes and missteps by Ferrari and Charles Leclerc ignited Verstappen's irresistible charge to a second world title that was secured in Japan with four races to spare.

During his banner year, the Dutchman also surpassed the record previously held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for the greatest number of wins in a single season, improving the tally from 13 to 15 victories.


"It was a season dominated by Verstappen and Red Bull," Brundle said in his Sky Sports column.

"Points wise Max finished the equivalent of well over five GP victories ahead of Leclerc in second place, and Red Bull well over four victories ahead of Ferrari.

"A tale of numerous pole positions and victories along clever strategies, fast pit stops and strong reliability. Congratulations to them all at the track and in the factories, it was immense."

Despite his remarkable achievements, Verstappen was given a frosty reception by F1 fans on several occasions this season, including in Abu Dhabi where the remnants of last year's controversial finale continue to linger.

"I was very sad to hear some boos for Max at the end, we have experienced that before for the likes of Schumacher, Vettel, Nico Rosberg and others over the decades for various reasons when fans get a strong feeling about something which has or indeed hasn’t happened," added Brundle.

"Red Bull and Team Verstappen could perhaps have played smarter hands in Mexico and Brazil and over the cost cap, but nothing can take away from their utterly dominant performance this season."

1st place Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. 20.11.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Race

Needless to says, Brundle – like the sport's fan community – hope to see more contenders give Red Bull and Verstappen a run for their money rather than leave the Dutchman's hegemony go unchecked.

"Max in particular is at a level which will take some serious beating in the next few seasons," said the former F1 driver.

"Hopefully Ferrari and Mercedes can close the gap, and drag the likes of McLaren, Alpine and Aston Martin along with them for a closer championship in 2023."

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