'Only One Challenger' Identified As Potential Threat To Verstappen And Red Bull

by Adam OndrikSunday, 21 January 2024 at 05:00
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Eddie Jordan recently asserted he can only see one potential challenger of Red Bull and Max Verstappen in 2024.
McLaren's F1 team principal, Andrea Stella, suggested ahead of the 2024 season that there are currently five teams on the grid equipped to compete for the championship.
Probably everybody agrees that the Red Bull Racing team will start the season at the top, but in terms of which team and driver will be able to challenge the team from Milton Keynes, opinions vary from expert to expert.
According to Christijan Albers, Lewis Hamilton is the only driver who can come close to Verstappen in terms of tire management and consistency.
According to Ralf Schumacher, it could be Mercedes or McLaren (mainly Lando Norris) who would be able to contend for the title.
Former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan added a third driver and team into the mix, saying he sees Charles Leclerc and Ferrari as the only possible challenger. He told F1-Insider:

"I only see one challenger, and that is Charles Leclerc. Ferrari must succeed in building a car this year that is on par with the Red Bull. Otherwise, I see black things when it comes to tension."

What is certain is that Leclerc won't be able to do anything without a competitive car, as we have seen in 2023. Therefore, the progress of his F1 team will be critical for his success.
Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko acknowledged the talent of the Monegasque driver but also argued the Ferrari did not show the consistency needed to compete for the Championship.
We have seen Leclerc and Verstappen battle on track at the beginning of the season 2022, and the Monegasque driver showed he could go toe toe to toe with the World Champion. Could we see battles like we did in 2022 again in 2024?