Jan.17 - Dr Helmut Marko says he is not concerned that Max Verstappen's rivals may soon be nipping at the heels of the dominant Red Bull champion.

McLaren boss Zak Brown admitted this week that he is keen to secure Lando Norris' services for the longer term, while former F1 personality Eddie Jordan thinks Charles Leclerc is set to be another close Verstappen rival.

"I only see one challenger for Max and that is Charles Leclerc," Jordan told Auto Bild.

"If I had a top team now and didn't get Max, there would only be one driver pairing that would be able to take on the fight with Verstappen - Leclerc and, as a teammate, Lando Norris.

"I simply no longer trust Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, although they are well-deserved champions, to be able to keep up with Verstappen because of their age," Jordan added.

Red Bull's Marko, however, insists he is not worried about the young drivers coming up behind Verstappen.

"Leclerc and Norris are certainly exceptional talents," said Red Bull's 80-year-old consultant. "But both have shown weaknesses in consistency in the past.

"In addition, Max is not yet at his limit. He will get even better. It is our job to provide him with a car that is as good as the one in 2023," Marko added. "Then he will be the benchmark again."

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