Former Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner named Max Verstappen and Niki Lauda as his ideal driver pairing with freedom to pick from any era.
Verstappen and the late great Lauda both serve as star names of their F1 era, Verstappen’s latest title triumph in 2023 seeing him join Lauda as a three-time World Champion.
And with comparing the greats a common topic for F1 discussion, Steiner was asked, when speaking at the Autosport International event, to combine two and create his dream F1 driver line-up.
Guenther Steiner picks Max Verstappen-Niki Lauda dream team
Verstappen, the current dominant force of Formula 1, was in many ways a simple pick for Steiner off the back of claiming a remarkable 19 grand prix wins out of 22 in the latest campaign, his Red Bull team collecting 21 overall.
And Lauda is the driver who Steiner picked as Verstappen’s dream team-mate, a driver who Steiner said was “the man” who always delivered in the 1970s/80s.
“I would pick Max and Niki Lauda,” said Steiner.
“In his time, he [Lauda] was the man which, even if he was not the fastest, he could bring the results.”
Verstappen is looking to continue his push into legendary status with a fourth World title on the trot in F1 2024, and is overwhelming favourite to do so after that display of all-conquering dominance in 2023.
However, Steiner believes Verstappen has stern challenges to come in that regard, confidently stating this period of dominance “will end” and Verstappen will be forced to fend off the attacks.
Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin found themselves battling for ‘best of the rest’ status in 2023 but now have Red Bull in their sights, McLaren especially drawing attention with their huge in-season gains.
Asked if it matters for F1’s popularity that one team dominates, Steiner replied: “That will end. This is a period. In my opinion, I think the teams next year, some of them will catch up.
“Look what McLaren did last year in ’23, they caught up pretty quickly. Any race it can come that somebody catches up, because the regulation stayed stable, there is a limit [to] what you can develop and it’s just that everybody’s going to that point, the good teams.
“And then for sure in ’26, with the new regulations, new engine regulations, that will be complete change in everything in 2026, in my opinion.
“So I think the sport will stay interesting, and the domination, I think, obviously, Max last year, he dominated a little bit [laughs], but I think he’s in the best car and I think he’s the best driver at the moment. But there are other good drivers and other good cars out there which will be coming up this year.”
Verstappen and Red Bull have many season together ahead to continue filling the trophy cabinets, Verstappen’s contract running until the end of 2028.