Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff believes the current Formula 1 campaign would be a “fantastic” season without Max Verstappen.
Although Red Bull has dominated the entirety of the year so far, most of the success has come through Verstappen, who has taken 10 wins from 12 races.
The Dutchman currently holds a mammoth 125-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship over teammate Sergio Perez – the Mexican enjoying two Grand Prix victories this year.
But Perez has struggled through a self-confessed rough patch of form, failing to advance into the final qualifying segment on five consecutive occasions between the Monaco and British Grands Prix.
Red Bull has largely been unchallenged but behind, a number of teams have possessed the second-fastest car at interchanging events, with Mercedes sitting second in the Constructors’ standings with a 51-point advantage over Aston Martin.
‘Take Max out of the equation’
Perez, in second place, is 40 points ahead of Fernando Alonso who holds a slim one-point advantage over seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
Amid complaints that the current season is too predictable, Wolff concedes that the year would be much more enjoyable if Verstappen wasn’t in the Red Bull RB19.
“Yeah, I think you just need to take Max out of the equation,” he told media including RacingNews365.com. “The second Red Bull is where we are.
“It would be a fantastic season and close racing. But you know, the stopwatch never lies, there’s just one guy in one car that is above everything else.
“And we just got to catch up. There’s no choice.”