Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan has rubbished comments from within the team suggesting Max Verstappen lacked technical ability in F1.
The Dutchman has romped to a second championship this year, breaking the record for wins in a single season with 14 so far and with two races remaining.
Head of Red Bull's driver academy Guillaume Rocquelin, who was previously the team's head of race engineering, told the Les Fous du Volant podcast: “Max has always been a boss.
"He has enormous self-confidence, he knows what he wants and he is very direct.
“But I’ll be honest, Max is weak technically compared to other drivers we’ve worked with. I think he still has a lot of progress to make.
“He is a leader by his attitude, his results, but I think he can improve from a technical point of view and in the way of developing the car.”
These claims have been disputed by Monaghan, who believes the quotes have been mistranslated.
"If we may just correct some things, it was a poor translation from an interview with a colleague of mine so it was a bit misquoted," said Monaghan.
"However, Max is technically extremely gifted.
"He did a lot of work as a youngster, often guided by his father, and you can see the legacy of that.
"He knows what he is talking about when he is in the car, he knows what he wants and with his engineers.
"They know how to deliver a car that is nicely balanced, driveable, looks after the tyres well enough that he can manage a situation and if you look at his record over the past seasons he has been with us, it is stunning.
"He wouldn't achieve that if he wasn't an exceptional driver."
Insisting there was more room for Verstappen to grow, Monaghan added: "Of course, he can [improve]. He might not thank me for saying that.
"There are areas where he can get a bit better, he will dig into himself and think what could he do better through a season.
"It is up to us to give him a car that he can go and demonstrate those skills next year."
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