Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya claims 7-8 drivers in Max Verstappen’s place likely to win World Championship with RB19

Max Verstappen has been the sole candidate for the championship this season, dominating the standings with 10 race wins out of the twelve races that have taken place so far. This consistent dominance engraved into his performances this season has been hailed by many fans, journalists and even other drivers. 

However, to former F1 race winner Juan Pablo Montoya, Max’s dominance this season is far from extraordinary. In the eyes of the seven-time race winner, Max’s dominance is largely founded on the till date unbeaten RB19, making his 8-race win streak less extraordinary. 

Juan Pablo Montoya sees around 7-8 drivers to win the championship in the RB19

Remarking on his lack of surprise on Max’s dominance this season, Juan Pablo Montoya claims that Max’s role at Red Bull is expendable to 7 or 8 other drivers currently forming the 20-man grid. Besides the obvious candidates of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, Montoya has named several other drivers he believes can “do what Max is doing.”

Other drivers he named include Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and even Sergio Perez. The addition of Perez to this list has triggered confusion and watered down the credibility of Montoya’s statements among fans of the sport. 

F1 fans ridicule Juan Pablo Montoya’s RB19 claim

Perez’s addition to Montoya’s list of drivers who can replace and beat Max in the RB19 has been the spark of ridicule among fans, especially considering that Perez is already driving the RB19. Currently, Perez is 125 points behind Max in the standings and has won only 2 races this season in comparison to Verstappen’s 10. In fact, Perez has not even been able to make it into Q3 many times this season. It is, therefore, no surprise that fans disagree with Montoya’s belief in Perez, to the degree that it has been the basis of ridicule on social media. 

@warGilly on Twitter accuses Montoya off being drunk while making the statement:

@F1Marinka points out the irony in Montoya’s claims, and the underlying humour therein:

While thus far Perez has not been putting in championship-worthy performances, it is still mathematically possible for him to bite back and crawl his way past Max in the standings. With a little bit of luck mixed with consistency and determination from the Mexican, the story of the 2023 F1 champion can yet be rewritten.

Are fans wrong to discount Perez from the championship this early? Is Montoya correct in declaring that Max’s contribution to race wins this season has been minimal because of the thus-far unbeatable RB19? Comment your thoughts you think below!


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