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Webber on Ferrari: 'Tried, but Verstappen was too strong'

Webber on Ferrari: 'Tried, but Verstappen was too strong'

4 January - 18:18 Last update: 22:32


Mark Webber looked back on last season and saw a very strong Max Verstappen. The Red Bull Racing driver was on fine form in 2022 and once he'd learnt the characteristics of his car there was no stopping him.

After eight years of Mercedes' dominance, things were different last season because of the regulation changes put in place. This started at the beginning of the season when many teams were struggling with the phenomenon of porpoising and could not get it under control. Red Bull had things in order in that respect, which created more and more opportunities for the Austrian racing stable to fight for the title.

On fire

For the first few races, the Milton Keynes-based team did experience some reliability problems, but from the moment this was fixed, the RB18 went like a rocket, according to Webber.

"And once Max knew what to do with the car's characteristics, there was absolutely no way anyone could stop him and the team," the Australian told Talk with Speedcafe.

Especially after Verstappen's strong race in Belgium, the former Formula 1 driver was impressed. "I haven't seen anything like that for a long time. Max appeared in the rear-view mirrors of competitors and literally waved as he flew past them all. So he was really on fire there!"

Disappointing Ferrari

Yet, especially at the start of the season, Verstappen was not the only contender and was still up against Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. However, the team from Maranello was facing a prolonged series of reliability problems and made strategic lapses that did not benefit the Italian team. "But with the performance on Sundays, they couldn't win the title. They tried, but Max was too strong," the former Red Bull driver added.

Pretty much all season, everyone agreed that Verstappen was driving like a World Champion. However, after the Brazilian Grand Prix, for the first time in the season, a fuss arose when the Dutchman refused to let his teammate Sergio Pérez pass him. Webber understands the two-time World Champion's choice. "Everyone makes decisions at that moment and you can't just pause the race. In the end it was discussed internally after the race, because it is not always easy to argue with a driver who has his helmet on and is in the last laps of the race," the former Red Bull Racing driver concluded.

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