Luca Baldisserri, former race engineer for Michael Schumacher, believes that the real threat to Ferrari in view of 2024 is represented by Max Verstappen more than by Red Bull.
With 2023 now behind us, Formula 1 is revving up for the upcoming season. Ferrari is also preparing to redeem the disappointing championship just concluded, finishing third behind Mercedes. The 2024 car, which, according to Enrico Cardile, will represent “a new beginning,” must at least close the gap with the RB20, even though the Max Verstappen factor must also be considered in the equation, the undisputed dominator this year.
Max Verstappen is the biggest obstacle for Ferrari in 2024
“I am rooting for Fred Vasseur, for Charles Leclerc, for Carlos Sainz, for all those who work within the racing department,” Luca Baldisserri stated in an recent interview with motorsport journalist Leo Turrini for the Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale.
“But they have a problem, and this problem has a first and last name: Max Verstappen. Every generation has its symbol: Senna, Schumi, Hamilton. Now it’s the turn of the Dutchman. He is in the cockpit of the fastest car, but he is also the best. Driven by Sergio Perez, the Red Bull is less stratospheric, less distant. There is an additional difference determined by the driver.” – he pointed out.
The undisputed supremacy of the Max Verstappen and Red Bull duo is somewhat reminiscent of the Michael Schumacher – Ferrari tandem in the early 2000s when the Kaiser triumphed five times in a row from 2000 to 2004.
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“The Ferrari of that time was at the top, but only Michael knew how to make it irresistible,” adds the technician from Bologna. Indeed, considering the performances offered by Sergio Perez this year, it is evident how the RB19 was a spaceship only in Max Verstappen’s hands, who annihilated the Mexican by winning 17 more GPs and finishing the championship with a lead of 290 points.
Finally, speaking about the bond with Michael Schumacher, exactly ten years after the terrible accident in Meribel, Luca Baldisserri wanted to remember his lifelong colleague: “It was October 8, 2000, at Suzuka. Ferrari had been waiting for the world title for twenty-one seasons. He broke the spell. I was there in Japan, and I realized that thanks to Schumi, I was experiencing an unparalleled emotion.” – he concluded.