Max Verstappen backed to match Sebastian Vettel but not Lewis Hamilton

Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step

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Max Verstappen has been tipped to follow Sebastian Vettel’s record of securing four world titles but the reigning champion may not be able to surpass Lewis Hamilton’s eight. An exclusive new poll for Express Sport shows 64 per cent of readers think Verstappen will either match or surpass Vettel’s record of four-world titles before he retires.

A quarter think the Red Bull star will follow Vettel’s footsteps and secure exactly four championships. However, A staggering 40 per cent think he could score more with almost 20 per cent opting for five titles.

Meanwhile, just one in five F1 fans think he could match or beat Hamilton’s stunning run. Three per cent feel the Dutchman will also secure seven world titles with 17 per cent believing he could go one better.

Some 33 per cent of readers claim Verstappen will be unable to beat either driver’s feats. 16.3 per cent feel he will fail to pick up any more and will retire with his two current world titles.

Meanwhile, 16.7 per cent think he could secure one more before he leaves the sport. Verstappen has not ruled out more success at Red Bull after a commanding campaign saw him clinch the championship as early as October.

He said: “It will be about keeping this amazing team together. If we can do that, we can achieve a great deal together. It depends of course on the competitiveness of our opponents, but I firmly believe in more wins and titles.”

Red Bull could be up against it in 2023 as the team will face a testing disadvantage compared to their rivals. The team was hit with a 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel testing and CFD development next year after breaking F1;’s budget cap rules.

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They are also docked for winning the Constructors Championship meaning they will lose a lot compared to Ferrari and Mercedes. As it stands, Red Bull will have 12 per cent less time than the Prancing Horse and 17 per cent less than the Silver Arrows.

Christian Horner previously suggested the penalty was a “draconian” measure which could cost the team half a second per lap. However, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has previously admitted Verstappen was not out to break statistics.

He commented: “There have to be so many factors together to achieve something. For sure, he is not the type who goes for records. One day, he will say fine and then walk away.”

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