Jos Verstappen Believes Red Bull Need To Bring In A Stronger Teammate For Max

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It was supposed to be a race of redemption for Alex Albon on Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Instead, it turned into a no-show for Red Bull, who went home empty-handed without points.

After Max Verstappen’s unlucky tire blowout, all eyes were on Albon to guide the RB16 past the finish and at least claim P5. But, an unforced error from his end, saw him finish last in the race.

And now Verstappen’s father and former F1 driver, Jos Verstappen has talked about the importance of a strong teammate for his son. He believes that having a solid second driver is crucial, from a variety of tactical perspectives.

Red Bull could have had a very different Emilia Romagna GP

Jos Verstappen is quoted by Motorsport as saying, “At the moment I just don’t think it’s going well enough. Look, Max does need a strong teammate because then this race would have gone differently.”

“With a good teammate you also get more data in training. If you have two drivers who go their separate ways, that will yield more data.” said Max’s father. (translated from Google Translate)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen ahead of Valtteri Bottas during the Emilia Romagna GP
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via Reuters/Luca Bruno

There is a sense of reasoning behind Verstappen senior’s words here. A team could very well benefit with some additional insights, but the right experience to do so is also necessary.

From that point of view, someone like a Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez would be a better fit at the team. After all, a decade of racing in the sport does count for something.

A second strong driver can allow the team to take the fight to Mercedes

As could be seen from the race at Imola, Mercedes were able to work well together in terms of their race strategy. Having two options to pressure the opponent, means there are a number of tire strategy calls available to the team.

Andrew Green defend Racing Point's pit strategy with Perez at Imola
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

In that sense, Red Bull are possibly the closest contenders to the dominant Mercedes. Having a duo of Max and Perez, for example, can put the heat back on Bottas and Hamilton.

And that would not see Verstappen sandwiched more often or doing the majority of the chasing. His abilities could well be utilized to build the pace. And challenge the two Mercedes drivers more often than not in the races.

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