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Ex-F1 Team Boss Believes Max Verstappen Would Not Have Won the Australian GP Even if He Had Finished the Race

Aishwary Gaonkar
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Ex-F1 Team Boss Believes Max Verstappen Would Not Have Won the Australian GP Even if He Had Finished the Race

Max Verstappen’s streak of finishing in the points in 43 consecutive races ended at the Australian GP with his sudden DNF. While his RB20 suffered brake issues, it opened the doors for Carlos Sainz and Ferrari to take the victory as Verstappen pulled into the pitlane on Lap 3. However, former F1 team boss Flavio Briatore thinks that even if the three-time champion had stayed in the race without any issues, he may not have been able to win the race ahead of Sainz.

According to Formula Passion, Briatore said, “I believe that even if Verstappen had been in the race this time he would not have won.” Sainz‘s performance in Melbourne really impressed the former Renault boss, who praised the Spaniard by mentioning how he “recovered in a few days” to claim the victory.

This is the second time the #55 driver has halted the Dutchman’s winning streak after he won in Singapore last year, thereby ending the 26-year-old’s run of 10 consecutive wins. The race in Albert Park also showed that Ferrari is truly the second-best team after Red Bull.

In Australia, Ferrari seemed to have improved massively, relative to their rivals from Milton Keynes. Whether this performance was track-specific or some genuine step up, the upcoming races will reveal the true picture. Meanwhile, this time last year, the Italian outfit were nowhere close to fighting for race wins on merit against Red Bull.

Is Ferrari going to mount an unlikely title charge against Red Bull and Max Verstappen?

As the 2024 season started, everyone had written off a title challenge from anyone after seeing two impeccable wins from Max Verstappen in Bahrain and then Saudi Arabia. Now, after Carlos Sainz won in Australia, this notion seems to have changed slightly, at least for Flavio Briatore.

The former Renault boss feels that Ferrari could pull off the impossible in 2024 and win the Constructors’ title. It is definitely a huge claim to make, given that Ferrari has had many such false dawns of a championship challenge in the recent past.

Briatore feels that Ferrari are the only team close to Red Bull right now, and hence, have the ability to beat the side from Milton Keynes. Still, he has mentioned how the evolution of the SF-24 over the next few races will be crucial in evaluating whether Ferrari can seriously mount a title challenge or not.

Currently, Ferrari stands only four points adrift of Red Bull (97 pts) in the standings. Even in the Drivers’ Standings, only five points separate the top three drivers that have Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Sergio Perez.

Therefore, as things stand, one of the Ferrari drivers may indeed be able to challenge the Dutchman for the title this year. However, Ferrari’s SF-24 needs to be much more consistent with its performance and future gains via upgrades to keep up with the Red Bull machinery.

In 2022 as well, the Maranello outfit faltered massively and Red Bull Racing cruised to securing both championships. So, nothing can be said as of now, unless Ferrari wins more races and emerges as a regular competitor against Max Verstappen and Co.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

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Aishwary Gaonkar

Aishwary Gaonkar

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Aishwary Gaonkar is the F1 Editor at The SportsRush. Having written over 757 articles about different aspects of the sport, Aishwary passionately likes to dive deep into the intricacies of the on-track events. He has been an avid F1 fan since the 2011 season, amid Sebastian Vettel's dominance. Besides the 4-time champion, he also likes Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Among the current drivers, he thinks Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri have championship-winning caliber. Longing for a Ferrari world championship, Aishwary is also a fan of Aston Martin's underdog story and their bid to win the F1 championship. Other than F1, he follows tennis and cricket too.

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