Former Formula One driver David Coulthard feels two-time world champion Max Verstappen’s fearless attitude and hard work sets him apart from the other drivers on the circuit. (More Motorsport News)
Red Bull’s Verstappen, who has won the driver’s championship for two years in a row now, began the 2023 season with a comfortable victory in the opening race, Bahrain Grand Prix, with his teammate Sergio Perez finishing second and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso coming in third.
"Just because he works so hard," Coulthard said on Saturday about Verstappen when asked what sets him apart from the other drivers in the competition, on the sidelines of a Red Bull showrun event in Mumbai.
"His mother was a cart racer, his father was a Formula One driver. He was not given a route to F1, he had to slot it out. Time and again, he has shown that he has a fighting spirit, that he is not frightened by any competitor.
"His work ethic on the track has given him, along with his natural talent, an edge over his competitors."
The 52-year-old Coulthard, who won 13 races for Williams and Mercedes and also drove for Red Bull in the later part of his career, explained why they have dominated the intensely-competed F1 circuit for the last two years.
"There is no secret ingredient to being successful in Formula One. If you look through the history of the sport, a team (may) have had a technological advantage, or they may not be having a big advantage, but they just have great efficiencies with maybe the pit stops, driving consistency.
"You have got to invest in people and once you have done that, you got to empower them to do their job. That was the thing that the late Mr (Dietrich) Mateschitz did when he bought the team."
Coulthard said Red Bull have always produced high-performing race cars, which has led to success in the longer run.
"Even when Red Bull were not winning championships, they were still producing a high-performing race car and good group of people, some come, some leave, that is the natural ebb and flow of a workforce.
"But there is a great deal of loyalty to the team from a lot of people that have been there since the beginning and some that I worked with, which was the catalyst of this team."