Ferrari praise Verstappen: ‘He was on another planet’


Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has praised Max Verstappen after the Dutchman’s dominant Formula 1 campaign.

Verstappen took his third F1 title with several rounds to spare as he went largely unchallenged during the year, winning 19 out of the 22 races staged.

Red Bull was defeated just once during the entire campaign as Ferrari took victory at the Singapore Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz.

Speaking to media including in Abu Dhabi, Vasseur hailed Verstappen for his performances this season.

“He did a mega season in which he was fighting with Checo [Perez] for the first two or three events and then he was on another planet,” he said.

“Clearly, he didn’t make a mistake this season. I think even when he struggled in qualifying in Jeddah it was due to an issue.

“He was always there, always taking good starts with no contact. The only one was Vegas but I think getting a bit closer to him, we don’t want to say we are putting him under pressure because it’s not true.

“[In Abu Dhabi] he was not under pressure. But he was probably a bit more under pressure today than he was in Zandvoort when there was rain.”

‘Mistakes will come with more pressure’

However, Vasseur is confident that mistakes will befall Verstappen if more teams put pressure on Red Bull during race weekends.

“There is no doubt about the fact that he dominated the season, the only issue for us is that, like everybody, he will make more mistakes when he is under pressure,” Vasseur said.

“Nobody was able to put him under pressure this season except the last two or three events or Carlos in Singapore.

“It’s where he started to make some mistakes or Red Bulls started to make some mistakes in terms of set-up.

“We were too far away to put this kind of pressure on him [in Abu Dhabi].”

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