Max Verstappen first showed his talent in Formula 1 in his inaugural season in 2015. Through his performances for Toro Rosso, he got called up by Red Bull.
People believed they were watching a champion in the making when he won in his first race for the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
However, fast forward to the present and Verstappen is still without a title. That is something that has puzzled former Formula 1 driver Michael Bleekemolen.
“You can definitely say that. But that is not his own fault. He makes no mistakes, he drives fast. We all know why it is,” Bleekemolen said.
One can argue that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have been so dominant in this period that it might be asking a bit too much of Verstappen.
This holds true especially in the last couple of seasons, where the Dutchman has had a relatively weaker teammate.
Bleekemolen believes there is plenty of reason for Verstappen to be optimistic though.
“Let’s hope that was not a one-off thing, but that he is really competitive, also from a motor point of view,” he said.
With the signing of Sergio Perez, Verstappen once again can form a dominant partnership, as he did in the days of Daniel Ricciardo.
The engine development freeze getting approved was also a big win for the team, especially with Honda announcing its decision to leave the sport at the end of the season.
With Mercedes confirming that its doubts regarding its engine this season, there is a growing expectation that other teams can close the gap on them.
Do you believe this will be the case and Red Bull can launch a championship surge or will Verstappen need to wait for his chance in a Mercedes to lift his first title?