‘Max doesn’t need World title to prove he’s exceptional’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen lifted up by his Red Bull mechanics. Mexico November 2021

Max Verstappen with his helmet in his hands is lifted up by his Red Bull mechanics in celebration. Mexico November 2021

Max Verstappen doesn’t need a World title to prove that he is “something very exceptional”, that’s according to Jan Lammers.

But that doesn’t mean the Dutch Grand Prix chief isn’t rooting for his compatriot to win this year’s title, and maybe one day close in on Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher’s seven.

Although there are still four races remaining in this year’s championship, Verstappen is a step closer to a first World title having extended his advantage at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver claimed his ninth race win of this season to increase his lead to 19 points ahead of Hamilton.

“Max is definitely setting new standards every day,” Lammers told Sky Sports News. “We’re extremely proud of him with what he’s doing.

“He could definitely be up there but I’m sure Max’s aim is not to be the best in Dutch perspective, I’m sure that he aims higher.

“I’m sure he’s judging on a world scale to be one of the all-time best.

“He has heavy shoes to fill if you see what Lewis has done with his seven championships and what Michael Schumacher, Fangio and Senna and all those drivers have done.

“I’m sure he has a lot in mind to [achieve] but he has already been doing this for more than 20 years now. So he’s a veteran at such a young age.

“But let’s see, I’d love to make up the score when he’s around 30 [years old].”

But if that score finishes with a zero in the World title column for the now 24-year-old, Lammers says that’s also okay.

“For me Max Verstappen doesn’t have to win the World Championship to prove to be that he’s something very exceptional,” he said. “But, at the same time, we’ve seen Lewis do fantastic things.

“It’s great to have those two drivers fight it out all the way to the end.”

With his nine wins on the board, history says the title should go to Verstappen as Hamilton is the only driver to have ever won nine race and fallen short of the crown.

But with 107 points in play, even his nine wins have not given Verstappen a comfortable advantage.

With the lead in the Drivers’ Championship already having changed hands six times, Lammers acknowledges that it is by no means a done deal.

“I wouldn’t jump to conclusions because we know how easily it can go wrong,” he said.

“We saw [in Mexico] with Valtteri [Bottas] how simply it can go wrong. It just needs to have one wheel be stuck at a pit stop. We have seen many championships just go up in air with trivial things.

“So I’m sure at Red Bull and particularly Max it’s all just focused forward and they won’t pop the cork until it’s relevant.

“For now it’s looking fantastic. It’s hard to realise that Max won nine grands prix this year and Lewis only five, so that goes to show how realistic it is. But we still have to do it.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Verstappen doesn't need to prove himself

Jan Lammers believes that Max Verstappen doesn't need to win a world title to prove himself.