Massa thinks Verstappen will 'win everything' until 2026

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates a 1-2 finish with the team. 07.05.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Gilbert / XPB Images
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Former Ferrari star Felipe Massa thinks that Max Verstappen will prove unstoppable from now until the next change of engine regulations comes into effect in 2026.

Red Bull have dominated since the last change to the rules reintroducing ground effect aerodynamics came into place at the start of 2022. It picked up 18 wins from 22 races last season, with 15 of them going to Verstappen.

And the pattern is repeating again this year, with Verstappen claiming wins in ten races so far and his team mate Sergio Perez securing victories in the other two remaining Grands Prix.

It's given Verstappen a 125-point lead over Perez and the rest of the field heading into the summer break, with ten races remaining once the season gets back underway at Zandvoort.

Unsurprisingly it's given rise to widespread speculation that Red Bull could win every single race in 2023, which has never been done before in F1 history - although McLaren won all but one in 1988 with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

But Massa thinks that not only is this feat possible, it could go even further with Massa suggesting that Verstappen is effectively unbeatable at the moment and will remain so until new rules come into effect.

“I think until 2026, when we will have the regulation change, Verstappen wins everything,” Massa told Spanish newspaper Marca this week. “We will have equal regulations.

"[Until then] Verstappen is superior, Red Bull is superior, so until 2026 we can expect Verstappen to win all the titles.”

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates with Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal in parc ferme.
30.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, Race Day.
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Periods of dominance following major regulation changes are common in F1, with Mercedes enjoying years of supremacy following the switch to hybrid engines in 2014 leading to a record eight consecutive constructors championships.

Before that, Red Bull enjoyed a run of four consecutive championship double triumphs with Sebastian Vettel between 2010 to 2013, just after Michael Schumacher had dominated with Ferrari in the 2000s.

What has made this run of success for Verstappen stand out is just how far ahead he is of everyone else on the grid, seemingly able to dominant in all conditions and at all circuits even over Perez in the same equipment.

27.08.2006 Istanbul, Turkey,
Winner, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, 2nd Fernando Alonso (ESP), Renault F1 Team, 3rd Michael Schumacher (GER), Scuderia Ferrari - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Sunday Podium -, EMail: - copy of publication required for printed pictures. Every used picture is fee-liable. © Copyright: Photo4 / - LEGAL NOTICE: THIS PICTURE IS NOT FOR ITALY

By contract, Lewis Hamilton had a tough time competing with Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, and Sebastian Vettel clashed at times with Mark Webber at Red Bull.

Massa was Schumacher's last team mate at Ferrari in 2006, and nearly win the title himself the following season before losing out by a single point to Hamilton in a nail-biting finish to the Brazilian GP.

"Right now I don’t see anyone at the same level as Verstappen," Massa agreed, adding that he couldn't see that changing in the foreseeable future.

Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40 and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13 battle for position.
03.09.2017. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Race Day.
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Massa and Verstappen competing in the 2017 Italian Grand Prix.

“Logically [nothing changes] until we have a big change with everything new," he said. "And then we have to understand if Red Bull will be the same as today."

Massa retired from racing at the end of 2017 after 15 seasons in Formula 1 which comprised 269 race starts, 16 pole positions and 11 race wins with spells at Sauber, Ferrari and Williams.

Last year, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem appointed Massa as the new president of the Driver's Commission, having previously headed up karting affairs for global motorsport's governing body.

Felipe Massa (BRA) FIA Drivers' Commission President.
18.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Qualifying Day.
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