Ralf Schumacher Identifies Max Verstappen's Main Contenders In 2024

by Adam OndrikSunday, 21 January 2024 at 01:00
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`Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher gives his take on Red Bull's most likely challengers for the upcoming season 2024.
The number one question that pops into everybody's head before the start of the 2024 season is whether Red Bull will retain the pace advantage over their rivals.
In 2023, we saw many exciting battles, and the F1 teams were more evenly matched overall than ever before. However, the season lacked one of the most exciting aspects - a close battle for the Championship title.
Can any of the remaining nine teams do something about Red Bull's and Verstappen's dominance? Ralf Schumacher said, appearing on the Formula For Success podcast:

"As we know, it all depends on the car. I think Mercedes, if they’re finally back. They still have to prove [they are] because you know how difficult it is and they looked very up and down on performance [in 2023]. So let’s cross fingers that they do."

Former F1 driver Karun Chanhok believes Mercedes currently has the strongest driver pairing on the grid. So if Silver Arrows delivered their drivers a faster car, they could very likely go toe to toe with the team from Milton Keynes and their drivers. Schumacher continued:

"McLaren could be possible. I have to say I’m a big fan of Oscar. The only thing is he seems still to be a bit weak in racing [conditions]. I think his qualifying performance is amazing, he never makes a mistake and he’s always there. So that’s great."

McLaren currently has the youngest driver lineup on the grid, but it consists of two incredibly talented drivers. Schumacher added Lando Norris might be the one to stand up to the triple World Champion,

"And Lando is an amazing racer, but maybe sometimes he wants a bit too much in qualifying. And he could be the one I think to challenge Max if the car [is good enough]."

In F1, the team with the fastest car usually wins. Therefore, the competitiveness of McLaren's car in 2024 will determine whether Papaya drivers could challenge Red Bull.