Helmut Marko hails Max Verstappen as he makes Lewis Hamilton prediction

Max Verstappen wrapped up his second world title in Suzuka.

Max Verstappen has cruised his way to his second consecutive title this year, performing on a level above his competitors and already putting himself in the debate for being one of the best drivers of all time.

The Dutchman has always been a confident driver, pushing himself and the car to the limit on a regular basis, but this season he has cut out the mistakes that could sometimes cause him to push it too far, and put himself out of the race.

Romain Grosjean recently said that he believes that Verstappen’s first title win gave him a sense of inner peace, and has seen the driver find where the limits of his driving lie.

Red Bull chief advisor Helmut Marko has backed up Grosjean’s comments, suggesting that Verstappen has a level of confidence, that when combined with his natural ability, makes him the best driver on the grid.

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“He drivers more confidently than ever with more overview of the race overall. At the same time he has developed into a tyre whisperer,” he said following the 25-year-old’s impressive execution of a soft-medium one stop strategy in Mexico, where he kept almost the exact same lap time for over twenty laps.

“He drives on a soft tyre for longer than his competitors on a harder compound. I haven’t seen his limit yet.

“He gets in the car and is so confident from the first practice session – from the first lap. When it’s wet, he’s two seconds faster than the rest of the field on the first laps.

“All he needs is very good grip at the front – what the rear is doing doesn’t affect him that much. That inly makes the other drivers nervous,” he explained.

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Marko has told reporters recently that it is his job to remind the other drivers, including Red Bull’s own Sergio Perez, that Verstappen is unbeatable, tearing down the Mexican’s title hopes before the season has even begun.

The only man that the Austrian can see challenging Verstappen in 2023 is his 2021 rival Lewis Hamilton, believing that Mercedes will be providing him with a better car next year.

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“I see Hamilton as a stronger challenger for 2023,” he said.

“He has a clear advantage in terms of experience, he can motivate himself incredibly well and I’m also convinced that Mercedes will put a better car on the track next year.”

Verstappen will be hindered by his teams lack of aerodynamic testing time next year after their cost cap breach punishment, so will most likely find himself in a tougher battle with the Ferraris and Mercedes than this year.