Webber sees Verstappen securing second F1 title early as Red Bull 'dominate'

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Mark Webber believes Max Verstappen could secure his second Formula 1 title well before Abu Dhabi as Red Bull "dominate" this season.

While Charles Leclerc and Ferrari romped into an early lead, the reigning world champion has won five of the last six races turning a 46-point deficit after Australia into a 46-point lead over teammate Sergio Perez.

And Webber doesn't see the Scuderia getting back on terms with his former team again in 2022.

"Red Bull will continue to dominate this championship," he was quoted by The Guardian.

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"They have a car that is very good on downforce levels, on all compounds of tyre. It’s like a tennis player on all surfaces or a golfer on all holes, short, long, chipping, putting, driving, the Red Bull can do everything.

"Red Bull have pretty much an answer for anything at the moment, Max could wrap it up with three races to go."

Indeed, Webber is also doubtful over whether Perez can really challenge Verstappen in the long run.

"I like Sergio a lot but over the course of the season, over time, Max will just find a way to start accumulating bigger points,” the Australian added.

"In Azerbaijan, Max drove away down the road, it was a very emphatic victory. Then in Canada, it’s raining, it’s dry, it’s cold, it’s tricky and Max all weekend was phenomenal."

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Verstappen himself, however, is remaining cautious, noting how quickly things have changed once already this year.

"After the early races it seemed like we had a competitive car so we can be in the fight for the championship but then after retiring two times, and I was 46 or 47 points down," he told Red Bull's Talking Bull podcast.

“I was like, ‘This [title battle] is gone, this is not happening,’ or at least it will take a very long time to catch up, and then basically in three races, as a team we turned it around and both of us are now up there.

“It’s quite satisfying but of course, we also know it can also change really quickly right, so we have to be on our toes.

“We have to really focus on not retiring anymore because the two we have had have been too much.

“It’s been a bit hectic and crazy, the first few races we’ve had so far.”

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That view was also shared by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko...

“Reliability is always a concern if you have a car that is so much on the limit,” he said via Motorsport.com.

“You see that at Ferrari. The only ones who didn’t have a technical DNF yet are Mercedes, but they had to lift during some races because of overheating problems.

“We have an unbelievable run now," he added, "normally in the first half of the season we were always catching up and now are dominating.

“You have to say that if you win seven races out of the first nine, that is domination.”