Key attribute identified between Michael Schumacher and Max Verstappen

Oliver Harden
Red Bull driver and reigning F1 World Champion Max Verstappen looks on from the garage during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix. Styria, June 2023.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen looks on from the garage during qualifying for the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali believes Max Verstappen’s ruthlessness is reminiscent of former Ferrari colleague and seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.

Verstappen eased to a third successive World Championship in 2023, winning a record 19 of a possible 22 races for the dominant Red Bull team.

Still just 26, the Dutchman has now joined the debate surrounding the greatest drivers in history having won 44 of the last 66 races since the start of his maiden title-winning campaign in 2021.

Michael Schumacher compared to Max Verstappen

Schumacher became the first man to win seven World Championships – a figure only matched by Verstappen’s former title rival Lewis Hamilton, who succeeded Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013 – with the German winning five consecutive titles with Ferrari from 2000.

Domenicali – who joined Ferrari in 1991, rising through the ranks to the role of team principal – was involved in each of Schumacher’s triumphs with the famous Scuderia.

And in his role as F1 boss, he has noticed one clear attribute that is shared between Schumacher and Verstappen.

He told Italy’s Rai Radio: “Our sport is always characterised by cycles that are linked by a combination of a very strong car and an exceptional driver.

“In Max Verstappen, we have a driver who is mature. He reminds me of Michael Schumacher because he gives nothing to any rival.”

This Friday (December 29) will mark a decade since Schumacher suffered severe brain injuries in a tragic skiing accident.

The 54-year-old has not been seen in public since, with Schumacher’s family fiercely protective of the German.

Reflecting on the years since the incident at the Meribel resort, Domenicali refused to provide an update on Schumacher’s condition out of respect for his family, but confessed that his life has altered considerably over the last decade.

He said: “What is between them and me remains private, but living like this for 10 years is something you would never wish on your worst enemy.

“His accident in Meribel seems like yesterday. These are life-changing episodes.” recommends’s Hall of Fame: Michael Schumacher – the beating heart of Ferrari

Michael Schumacher: The six biggest controversial moments of his F1 career

As the 10th anniversary of his accident nears, Schumacher’s brother, the former Williams and Toyota driver Ralf, has shared his memories of that fateful day, below.

“It’s shocking how long ago that was and how quickly 10 years have passed,” he said.

“I miss that time when he was my mentor, the time we spent together. It was a turning point for the whole family back then. We agreed not to comment on it, more or less. There is still a lot of interest.”

Read next: Michael Schumacher accident ‘turning point’ discussed as 10th anniversary looms

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