Max Verstappen has proved himself to be a ‘constant menace’ to Mercedes and Ferrari despite not always having a competitive car with Red Bull, says former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer.
The Dutchman led the majority of the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday only for Mercedes to outsmart Red Bull on tyre strategy, which eventually saw Lewis Hamilton claim the victory in Budapest. It still represented another superb outing for Verstappen, who has won two out of the last four races in Austria and Germany.
Some pundits have suggested that he as drove as well, if not better, than championship leader Hamilton this season considering he is in an inferior car most of the time.
Palmer has praised the Dutchman for always challenging the drivers of Mercedes and Ferrari even if his car is lacking on the day.
“Max Verstappen has been the only driver not to make any significant mistakes this year, and arguably has been the strongest across the season so far,” he wrote in his BBC Sport column.
“The Red Bull car was not as quick as Ferrari or Mercedes in the early races, yet Verstappen was constantly in podium contention.
“Now that Red Bull has taken a step forward, Verstappen is a constant menace to Mercedes. Two wins in the last four races - and almost a third in Hungary last weekend, but for a superlative performance from the Mercedes/Hamilton combination - show Verstappen is driving at the top of his game.
“Two front rows and a pole position since Austria in late June prove the Dutchman now has qualifying sorted as well, and I expect the Verstappen/Hamilton rivalry seen in Hungary to be a regular feature in the second half of the season.”
Verstappen is currently third in the drivers’ championship behind Hamilton in first and Valtteri Bottas in second.
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