Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher has told Max Verstappen to “take good care” of Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey, if he wants to keep winning.
Verstappen heads into this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix looking to end his sensational 2023 campaign with yet another victory, which would take him to a record-breaking 19 for the season.
Nobody has come close to the three-time World Champion this year, with him having won 33 races since the start of 2022 alone.
His dominance since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations last season has seen his total career wins skyrocket, to the extent that he’s now won 53 F1 races following his victory last weekend in Las Vegas.
After winning in Sin City, Verstappen is now joint-third for most wins in F1 with four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, meaning he could make the spot his own with another win at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Schumacher doesn’t think a win in Abu Dhabi is necessarily a guarantee though, as he believes Red Bull are actually “under a bit of pressure”.
“Red Bull is under a bit of pressure. The other teams are getting closer. That makes the whole thing exciting. We only have one race left to go: Abu Dhabi, I look forward to that,” Schumacher wrote in his Sky Sport column.
Regardless of who wins this weekend, 2023 has been all about Verstappen and Red Bull.
The RB19 has just been unstoppable and that’s all thanks to the remarkable work done by Newey when he designed the car.
Newey remaining with Red Bull is hugely significant to them, something which was recently confirmed as he’s signed a new contract.
Schumacher thinks Verstappen could challenge Lewis Hamilton’s 103 career wins if he continues to have such a strong car, something the ex-F1 driver notes depends heavily on Newey’s presence.
As a result, Schumacher has advised Verstappen to look after Newey, as this is the key to extend his remarkable run of victories.
“As for age and talent, absolutely,” Schumacher added.
“But that depends on two things. Question one is: how long does he want to race?
“The other question is: does he always have such a good car? I think next year. Max [Verstappen] has to take good care of Adrian Newey. As long as he does, they can continue this [winning].”