Max Verstappen change noticed as F1 champion spots “bad sign” in Red Bull star

Max Verstappen has gone from being a very fast but powerful driver on the Formula 1 circuit to a much more mature driver for Red Bull – and still incredibly fast.

Alain Prost believes Max Verstappen’s combination of incredible speed and new title-winning maturity is a “bad sign” for his Formula 1 rivals.

The 26-year-old Dutchman is a three-time champion, after claiming his third title in as many years at last weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix. And it was his easiest championship to date, having won 14 of 17 races so far this season and five remaining.

His contract with Red Bull binds him for another five seasons. And he will still only be 31 years old when this deal expires, meaning that if he wants, Verstappen will still have plenty of time to continue and will have the opportunity to break every F1 record he has yet to set. Next on his to-do list will be another successful title defense in 2024. To achieve this, he will join Sebastian Vettel and Prost in the exclusive club of four-time F1 champion – and the Frenchman is certain Verstappen has what ‘it takes’.

“Winning a third title is already great,” he wrote in his L’Equipe column. “Consecutive wins are even bigger because only a few big names have achieved it. But I think what makes Max Verstappen so great and strong is his ability to be a great driver that he has developed to never stumble and always want more.

“There’s no doubt he’s become a great driver. But what I think makes him even stronger is the way he’s learned to integrate with his car and team.

“He’s a big guy who strives for perfection every day. When we heard the driver complaining about his car’s bad behavior during the free practice session on Friday morning , it’s not the anger of the kid who makes a mistake and sometimes finds himself cornered because of his impatience. “No, this Max disappeared at the end of 2021, at the end of the epic battle with Lewis Hamilton. I will not talk about the very controversial final in Abu Dhabi, but about how he and the Red Bull team His battled throughout the season against the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

“Beating the seven-time world champion gave him confidence and certainty. This first title made him stronger. Since then, he has calmed down – except for finding seek perfection. “It’s a bad sign for the competition because I don’t see it going away anytime soon. The next two years without regulatory changes will not change its current strength much. And, from 2026, because it is in symbiosis with his team, they will be able to overcome challenges together and at least fight for the title.”

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