breaking news


today is Jan 31, 2023

The manager of new Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen believes vanquished rival Charles Leclerc is "definitely" a future title winner despite defeat in 2022. Verstappen wrapped up the championship at Suzuka in a wet Japanese Grand Prix after his 12th win from 18 races as Leclerc was handed a five second time penalty for cutting the track at the final corner on the last lao of the rain-shortened race. This, coupled with a rules quirk which allocated full points meant that Verstappen walked away from Suzuka with the crown - as Leclerc was left ruing Ferrari's lack of pace and a lost title. However, Verstappen's manager Raymond Vermeulen believes the Monegasque in the Ferrari is as equally talented and a future champion. Verstappen's manager on Leclerc Vermeulen put a lot of the struggles of the Ferrari in 2022 down to the car - and believes spins - such as Leclerc crashing out from the lead of the French Grand Prix - comes from this source. 'A lot of the mistakes that happened to both Ferrari drivers was because they seem to have quite a loose rear, that's a little bit unpredictable," Vermeulen told the F1 Nation podcast. "And then obviously, if you're already a little bit on the backfoot, you push that just extra couple of percent more, and you're driving closer at the limit, then it's obviously easy to make a mistake. "It's easy to finger point, but I think if he has the right package, Charles is definitely also a future Formula 1 World Champion, if he has the car that he requires to do [so.]" "Equal talent' Vermeluen also believes that his charge and his old karting rival are "equal talents" with only the RB18 and F1-75 separating the two in their first tussle for the World Championship. "I think Charles is equally talented. I mean that some of his pole position laps that he put together this year were just unbelievable," he said. "I also think he has the race craft, but if you have bigger tyre degradation during the race, there's not much that you can do as a driver. "You can be like Sergio Perez who is one of the best in saving rear tyres, but I think they are all pretty good in that sense. "Ultimately, you need a car that performs over one and a half hours, and Charles didn't have this for most of the races."