Red Bull Engineer Believes Verstappen Is Weak Tehnically, but Is Improving Fast

Guillaume Rocquelin is Red Bull's former Head of Race Engineering and current Head of the Driver Academy. He also had the chance to work with David Coulthard and Sebastian Vettel, making him very knowledgeable when it comes to Red Bull’s driver history.
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Why so much exposure on a relatively unknown figure in Red Bull’s well-oiled machine? Well, because soon after Max Verstappen won his second consecutive F1 World Driver’s Championship, he made a few statements about the Dutch driver.

This happened during a podcast held by Eurosport France where he compared Verstappen to Vettel. Of course, in the eyes of people who worked with Seb, other drivers are going to come short, but the former race engineer makes a few good points, hinting at positive prospects.

During the podcast, Guillaume Rocquelin stated that the four-time World Champion was a more complete driver compared to the Dutchman upon his arrival at the team. He continued by saying "At the professional level, technique, mediation...he was trained at the [Michael] Schumacher 'school', who was his idol. He asked a lot of questions, took a lot of notes and when he arrived with us he was very thorough. It is no coincidence that he won several titles. He was more prepared technically, mentally.”

Now, before people think this is just criticism launched at Verstappen, Rocquelin also pointed out that Max has more natural talent, which he relied on a lot. The former race engineer proceeded to praise the defending World Champion’s self-confidence but pointed out he is not as involved in car development as Vettel was.

However, despite stating this is an area where Verstappen could improve, Rocquelin commended the Dutch driver’s improvement since winning his first title by saying "What struck me the most [in 2022] was that he has somewhat lost this 'desperate hunger' that he had last year. He has matured. He has gained consistency. Winning the championship has given him a lot of confidence and he drives in a different way.”

Coming from the guy in charge of scouting young talents for Red Bull, this is an encouraging comment for the team’s fans. It hints at the fact that Verstappen has not yet reached his prime and is still getting better with every passing season.
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About the author: Bogdan Bebeselea
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As a kid, Bogdan grew up handing his dad the tools needed to work on his old Citroen and asking one too many questions about everything happening inside the engine bay. Naturally, this upbringing led Bogdan to become an engineer, but thanks to Top Gear, The Fast and the Furious series, and racing video games, a passion for automotive entertainment was ignited.
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