Formula 1 legend Alain Prost has made bold predictions about the future of the sport, asserting that Max Verstappen’s rivals must brace themselves for further Red Bull Racing domination.
The Dutch racing sensation clinched his third consecutive drivers’ championship title with five full grand prix races yet to take place in the 2023 season, and Prost, a four-time world champion, expressed his belief that Verstappen is still on an upward trajectory in his career.
Prost, who candidly admitted to L’Equipe his anticipation that Verstappen will surpass his own F1 achievements, highlighted the confidence that Verstappen gained when he defeated the formidable Lewis Hamilton.
Prost stated, “When he defeated (Lewis) Hamilton, it gave him confidence in his abilities.
“That first title made him stronger, after which Max became much calmer while his desire to achieve remained the same.”
Prost, now 68 years old, issued a clear warning to Verstappen’s competitors, emphasising that the young Dutchman is unlikely to retire anytime soon.
He pointed out, “This is a bad sign for his opponents, as he is unlikely to retire any time soon.
“In the next two years, the regulations will not change, which means Max will retain the same strength.
“Even in 2026, with genuine unity in Red Bull, they will take on a new challenge and at least remain among the contenders for the championship.”
Regarding Verstappen’s motivation, Prost drew from his own experiences in Formula 1, highlighting the importance of being able to compete for the title consistently.
He noted, “When I was in Formula 1, the thing I was most worried about was not being able to fight for the title.
“The worst was 1987 or 1991 when the car wouldn’t allow me to do this. I think it will be the same for Verstappen: he will stay motivated not because he wants to win seven titles like Michael Schumacher or Lewis Hamilton, but because he knows that every weekend he can fight for victories.”
Prost’s insights shed light on Verstappen’s unique commitment to the sport, emphasising his singular focus on winning.
Prost pointed out, “He doesn’t have too many hobbies – he’s built and born to win. It’s a little different from Hamilton, or even from Ayrton (Senna), who had a lot of other things going on.
“It’s a little bit of a question mark for the future with Max, but in the next two years in any case, given that the rules are not changing, I do not see too many problems for him.”
Looking further into the future, Prost expressed curiosity about Red Bull Racing’s prospects without Verstappen, hinting at the potential challenges they might face.
He concluded by saying, “I then wonder what Red Bull will be like without Verstappen, but that’s another story.”