Is There Any Chance Of Max Verstappen Being Toppled In 2024?

Is There Any Chance Of Max Verstappen Being Toppled In 2024
Is There Any Chance Of Max Verstappen Being Toppled In 2024

Last season, Max Verstappen and Red Bull were nothing short of imperious. The Dutchman won or placed second in all but one Grand Prix (Singapore), totalling 575 points to finish well ahead of teammate Sergio Pérez on 285 points. His wins and podium finish counts marked new records and, undoubtedly, left other teams reeling.

Now in the third year under the current regulations, many would have expected Red Bull’s main competitors to be closing the gap. We saw great strides made by Aston Martin early last season and by McLaren in the latter half, but the gauntlet was mercilessly laid down in the first race of 2024.

So, can fans of any of the other teams have any hope of this being the year that we see a close title race again?

Unstoppable Verstappen in Bahrain

In the first Saturday opener since 1982, the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix saw Max Verstappen soar well ahead of the competition. The reigning world champion certainly showcased where the bar is, tasking pole with a 1:29.179 lap, and setting the fastest lap of the race at 1:32.608, leading every single lap, and then winning the race.

As a result of his opening grand chelem, the bookies have heavily sided in his favour. Fans can turn to the ESPN Bet NC bonus code for pre-registration of $225 to make the most of this. Verstappen is clearly the favourite, and while there are several races ahead, his -800 odds to win the title seem fitting for the $225 in bonus bets with the sports news outlet turned bookmaker.

You can’t get much more dominant than the Dutchman was in Bahrain this year, as showcased by his 22.457 lead over teammate Pérez, who finished the race second having started in fifth on the grid. All of Carlos Sainz Jr, George Russell, and Charles Leclerc fell to the wayside while Verstappen set the pace and Pérez surged to catch up.

There was, perhaps, one glimmer of hope to shine through in the first race weekend of the season. Verstappen was dominant in all regards when the final figures were put up, but he may not have had pole if Ferrari had capitalized on Leclerc’s strong showing in the second session.

Who can steal points from Verstappen in 2024?

According to the oddsmakers, Charles Leclerc is the most likely of an unlikely bunch to challenge Verstappen for the crown, coming in at +1200 to the Red Bull driver’s -800. However, in the market for the Drivers’ Championship without Verstappen, it’s Sergio Pérez who’s the clear frontrunner at -130 to Leclerc’s +300.

As such, it would seem that the experts believe that Pérez will be taking any points that Verstappen can’t, but that if the Red Bull starts to falter or can be caught, it’ll be Ferrari that makes those huge leaps forward. Perhaps this is what Lewis Hamilton has been clued in on, thus why he’ll be moving there in 2025.

After all, he caught on that Mercedes would be the next best thing when he switched from McLaren to the German team in 2013. Still, in Bahrain, frustrations between Leclerc and the Ferrari team were as obvious as ever. Carlos Sainz put in a good battle for third, but the Monegasque outdid Verstappen with his Q2, but the team’s chosen tire allocation was blamed for him not taking pole.

It’ll be interesting to see if a team like Ferrari can close the gap on Red Bull over the course of the season, but for now, Verstappen looks to be in a league of his own.

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