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Andrea Stella's insight: Max Verstappen's championship quest - A McLaren challenge?

McLaren boss Andrea Stella has cast doubt on whether Max Verstappen could have clinched the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship had he been driving for McLaren.

Despite Verstappen's dazzling performance with 19 wins out of 22 Grands Prix in the Red Bull RB19, Stella argues that the specific combination of driver and car at Red Bull was a key factor in his success.

Stella points out that the synergy between Verstappen and Red Bull proved to be faster than McLaren's capabilities during the 2023 season. Speaking to Auto, Motor, and Sport, he stated, "Even an excellent driver like Verstappen can only do what the material allows him to do. The combination of Verstappen and Red Bull is faster than we are at the moment. We have to beat them."

The McLaren team principal emphasizes the challenging starting point for McLaren in the 2023 season, making it a formidable task to match Red Bull's performance. Stella notes, "With our car, it is impossible, with any driver in the car, to be as fast as Red Bull in the second part of stints (in the race)."

Stella also highlights Verstappen's exceptional ability to perform consistently at a high level, especially under challenging conditions. "Where Verstappen makes the difference is that he always performs at an extremely high level, even in the most difficult conditions," explains Stella.

As Formula 1 enthusiasts anticipate the 2024 F1 season, teams and drivers are gearing up for the official pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. 

The 5.412-kilometre track, synonymous with the Bahrain Grand Prix, will set the stage for teams to showcase their potential and vie for supremacy from February 23-25, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the exhilarating world of Formula 1.

Read More: Max Verstappen emphasizes adaptability in dominant Red Bull Formula 1 era (planetsport.com)

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