Button’s top six includes ‘out of this world’ Max

Date published: April 1 2020

Max Verstappen

Jenson Button has slipped Max Verstappen into his list of the top six drivers he raced against in F1, saying the Red Bull driver’s skills are “staggering”.

Button competed in Formula 1 from 2000 to 2016 with a one-off appearance in 2017.

During that time he competed against the likes of Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

All four feature on the Brit’s list of his top six F1 drivers, so too do Mika Hakkinen and Red Bull’s Verstappen.

Asked for his top six F1 drivers during a Sky Sports’ vodcast, Button told the panel that he would stick to the six he raced against as it was “difficult” to compare different eras of racing.

He explained: “I’ll give you my six and my six while I’ve been racing as that’s the only way I can judge them.

“I always find it difficult comparing someone like Fangio to someone like Hamilton.

“Decades apart, it is almost different sport.”

As for his six during his 16 years of racing, he included Verstappen alongside record-breaking World Champions Hamilton and Schumacher.

While the Dutchman has yet to bag a first World title, Button says he has been impressed with the 22-year-old’s handling skills.

“I’ll stick Lewis in there,” the 2009 World Champion said. “Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso. Been team-mates with both of them. Immense talents in very different ways.

“Sebastian Vettel, doing four on the bounce was a big deal. He is struggling more now with such a competitive team-mate but I’m sure it will make him a better driver in the future.

“I have to say Max Verstappen.

“I didn’t race with him for many years but seeing his performances in tricky conditions like in Brazil 2016.

“That was just out of this world, staggering what he can do with a car.

“He always arrived at Turn 1 looking totally out of control. Any other driver would have crashed five times but he just kept it away and threaded the needle.

“The other two are from my early days in F1 so Mika Hakkinen and obviously the great Michael Schumacher.”

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