Verstappen has been involved in notable incidents in all of the first four races of the 2018 season, prompting connections between himself and the former Lotus driver, who gained significant notoriety and a certain cult hero status for his penchant for destruction between 2011 and 2015.
The Dutchman has come under heavy criticism for his untidy season thus far, spinning whilst chasing Kevin Magnussen in Australia in his only ‘non-contact’ race of the year. Collisions with Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain – which prompted “dickhead-gate” – Sebastian Vettel in China and teammate Daniel Ricciardo in Azerbaijan have also seen the 20-year-old placed further under the microscope, with his father Jos urging the media to put down their pitchforks.
Maldonado shares the same opinion, labelling the comparisons between the pair as “inappropriate”.
“Max is a fantastic driver, but he is still very young and so it’s normal that he’s still making mistakes,” the one-time Grand Prix winner said when speaking to French publication La Derniere Heure.
“He needs to accumulate experience, but comparing him with me is inappropriate.”
Maldonado also quelled rumours that a return to Formula 1 is a possibility, saying that the collapse of Venezuelan oil giants PDVSA has left him without the needed financial backing. The 33-year-old made his World Endurance Championship debut with DragonSpeed at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, finishing sixth in the LMP2 class.
“I do not have any sponsors or financial support from my country as was the case before,” he explained.
“The situation of my countrymen is difficult, but given the climate in Venezuela, it can only get better.”
Do you agree with Pastor? They did take their respective maiden wins in Spain…