Former F1 driver David Coulthard praised Max Verstappen for his performance at the 2022 Miami GP. The Dutchman won the race after starting P3 on the grid and beating both Ferrari cars in the opening stages.
Earlier, Verstappen missed out on valuable track time in Miami as his RB18 developed hydraulic issues in the practice sessions leading up to the race. Despite his lack of familiarity with the new track, the Dutchman made no errors in his battle against Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, continuing his streak of winning every race he has finished.
Coulthard also lauded the Red Bull driver for holding back a rapidly approaching Leclerc at the end of the race. The Scotsman claimed the Monegasque driver would have been able to get past a younger or lesser Max Verstappen, but couldn't bring the fight to the world champion on this occasion.
The 51-year-old remarked, saying:
“The pressure on Max [Verstappen] in that situation was off the scale. And you could see them after the race, both of them looking pretty hot and sweaty, this was a hard race, which I loved to see. And I think that Max really drove like the World Champion he is, had that been a younger Max or a lesser Max, then I think Charles [Leclerc] probably could have got the pass done.”
Helmut Marko claims Max Verstappen has been driving perfectly in 2022
Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko feels Max Verstappen has been driving perfectly while his rival Charles Leclerc is making errors that cost him performance. The Austrian also believes that his team and Ferrari are not far from each other in terms of pace and performance.
The 79-year-old told Sky Germany:
“We are at the same level as Ferrari. It is the track conditions and the driver that make the difference now. [Charles] Leclerc and [Max] Verstappen are in their own fight. Max drives perfectly, while Leclerc still makes small mistakes. That’s the key.”
The Dutchman has now won every race he has completed in the 2022 season, while the Monegasque driver has managed to win two out of the five races so far. Leclerc, however, still leads Verstappen in the drivers' championship despite having won fewer races. Verstappen's points deficit is due to his record of failing to score points in any race he has not won thanks to Red Bull's reliability issues.
With both teams set to bring updates to their cars in Spain, it is very likely the championship battle between the two drivers will continue till the end of the season.