There can be no doubting that Max Verstappen is one of the most exciting drivers in F1 at the moment. Ever since making his debut when he was just 17-years-old he’s looked at home in the sport, and some of his performances – such as his stirring wet weather performance in Brazil last year – have already been hailed as among the great drives of all time.
As the years go by there no reason he can’t go on to achieve massive success, but it’s still early days. Just how good is Verstappen? Well according to former driver Gerhard Berger, he’s worthy of comparison to to one of the best F1 drivers of all time – Ayrton Senna.
Now likening anyone to Senna is a risky move, but Berger reckons Verstappen is worthy of comparison because of his overtaking skills and aggressive driving.
“In my time, Ayrton Senna was by far the best driver, and maybe he was the best driver of all time. Now, Max Verstappen has amazed me with his overtaking skills, especially in the first lap. Other drivers regularly damage their front wing, but not Verstappen. He is from the same mould as Senna.”
That’s a bold claim to make but if anyone is qualified to make it, it’s probably Berger. He was teammate to Senna at McLaren between 1990 and 1992 and even though Berger was a very fast driver, Senna pretty much blew him away, though the two remained close friends.
Berger went on to talk about his own career, and when asked who his least favourite teammate was came up with Nigel Mansell, who he drove alongside at Ferrari in 1989. Berger said:
“He was nice, but you could not trust him. He asked me how much I earned and when I told him I asked him the same question. He could suddenly not remember what was in his contract. The best mutual bond I had was with Senna and Jean Alesi. Jean has a huge heart. His car control was unbelievable. In changeable conditions, he was unbeatable. And yet Jean never managed to win the championship. I think that’s really amazing and too bad.”
It’ll be interesting to see just what Max can go on and achieve in the sport, but can he really already be compared to Senna?