Arnoux predicts ‘another tough year’ for Max’s rivals

Tue, 19 December 2023, 08:00

Dec.19 (GMM) Rene Arnoux, a winner of 7 grands prix in the early 80s, is predicting “another tough year” for Max Verstappen’s rivals in 2024.

The 75-year-old Frenchman admitted that triple world champion Verstappen is “a fabulous driver”, but he also told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he has “a wonderful racing car”.

“Take a look at the on-board camera footage,” he told the Italian newspaper. “Max brakes, turns, holds the steering wheel still and draws a clean line through the corner.

“The other drivers have to constantly make corrections at the wheel,” Arnoux added. “Just like we had to do in our time.

“If Red Bull builds such a good car for 2024, it will be another tough year for Verstappen’s opponents.”

However, Arnoux thinks that if Ferrari – a team he drove for – is able to give Charles Leclerc a good car, the Monegasque driver is able to keep up with Verstappen.

“We can say with certainty that Charles Leclerc was very unhappy this year,” he said. “But his performances were consistently good, in complete contrast to Carlos Sainz.

“For me, Leclerc is one of the world’s best drivers – in Verstappen’s group,” Arnoux added. “Max might have a little more bite.

“But as I said, with a car like that it is also easier for Verstappen to show performance at such a high level. The Ferrari literally ate the tyres. After five laps of a grand prix, Max was already relaxing.

“Sainz gave a fantastic performance in Singapore, but in most of the other races he fell short of expectations.”

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