In the midst of a season in which Max Verstappen is making inroads on Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher’s records, Gerhard Berger says he rates the Red Bull driver ahead of the seven-time World Champions.
After winning his first World title in a ferocious fight against Hamilton in 2021, Verstappen went on a charge with 15 wins last season while this year he already has 12 on the board, including a record-breaking run of 10.
That, though, is likely to be just the first record he breaks this season.
Max Verstappen is one of the two ‘best’ drivers ever says Gerhard Berger
The 25-year-old is on course to break his record for the most wins in a single season, 15, and also set a new one for the biggest winning margin and most points scored.
With another five years to run on his Red Bull contract and no major regulations changes on the cards until 2026, it’s not inconceivable to imagine him chasing down Hamilton and Schumacher’s seven World titles or the Briton’s 103 race wins.
It has Berger proclaiming Verstappen is up there with triple World Champion Ayrton Senna as the best he has ever seen in Formula 1.
“Verstappen and Senna are unique in the business – they are the two best I have seen in the last 50 years,” he told Kronen Zeitung.
“Schumacher and Hamilton are also exceptional drivers. Of course, you should always look at the statistics, they are both fantastic.
“But Senna died early – and Verstappen is still young.”
In Senna’s nine and a bit years on the grid, he claimed 41 race wins, 80 podiums, 65 pole positions, and 19 fastest laps. He was tragically killed in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Earlier this season, Verstappen’s ninth, the Dutchman moved ahead of the triple World Champion on the race wins ladder and he now up to 47 grand prix wins, along with 91 podiums, 28 pole positions, and 27 fastest laps.
Hamilton, who has now been in Formula 1 for 17 years, holds the record for the most wins, 103, the most podiums, 195, and the most pole positions with 104 while Schumacher had 77 fastest laps.
Verstappen’s team boss Christian Horner has called his driver a once-in-a-generation talent.
“Max is in a period of his career where he is just simply untouchable,” he said. “I don’t think there is any driver on the grid that would be able to achieve what he is doing in that car.”
He added: “What we are witnessing is a driver that is generational.”